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Our Top 5 Tracks of 2017 So Far

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Our Top 5 Tracks of 2017 So Far

2017 has been a brilliant year for disco records. We've been blessed so far with countless new original tracks, remixes and edits that have been perfect to play on Love Come Down's dance floors across London and Barcelona.

To celebrate that fact, we thought we'd give you a list of our 5 favourites of the year so far. In no particular order:

Aeroplane 'Love On Hold' (Glitterbox Recordings)

From the moment you press play, this is an instant classic. It recreates that classic boogie sound, yet still manages to sound fresh – and then hits you round the face with a killer vocal hook. 

Aroop Roy 'Talkin Bout Life' (House Of Disco)

Not only does this record make great use of it's uber-summery sample, it somehow manages to transform what is on the surface a breezy rooftop party jam into something with a monster drop that comes from nowhere. Dynamite.

Karizma 'Work It Out' (Lumberjacks In Hell)

A devastating gospel sample turned into a dance floor bomb. When it's this good, who cares that the beginning and end are so abrupt it sounds like it's been taped off the radio?!

Dimitri From Brooklyn 'I Knead You' (Razor N Tape)

More gospel-influenced action here, with Dimitri's edit of a slightly obscure version of a Sylvester original doing this business at the end of the night. Every time. (It's track 2 on the player below – such a hot track it's not on YouTube!)

Tuxedo '2nd Time Around' (Stones Throw)

Love this vocal on this. It's that track you play when you're fictitiously roller skating through Miami in 1982. The best song Chromeo never released.

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Push The Tempo: The Lost Art of the Disco Tempo Change

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Push The Tempo: The Lost Art of the Disco Tempo Change

In the digital age, where everybody (us included) is a DJ, it's very rare that you'd hear a song with a tempo change in the middle. Most modern tracks are rigidly tempo locked, perfect to DJ with but not exactly pushing any boundaries.

In the 70s and 80s, however, there was a trend of producers and artists utilising the tempo change as a powerful tool to add impact in the middle of the track – in some cases changing the mood completely. Here's 3 examples of tracks we love which do just that:

Diana Ross 'Love Hangover'

Perhaps the most obvious choice, this Diana classic starts off as a slow burning, sultry ballad. The tightly mic'd vocals are very much front and centre, as if Ms. Ross is whispering directly in your ear. Then, at around the 2.40 mark, it transforms into a full power disco stomper, complete with massive Earl Young-esque open high hats and a bouncy bassline. Great stuff (and even better, re-edit king The Reflex has recently provided us with a DJ friendly version!).

The Chi-Lites 'My First Mistake'

Now here's where things get interesting. This absolute barnstormer of a track will be best known by most younger readers as one of the two tracks sampled by legendary DJ David Morales on his track 'Needin' U' - a house music anthem and a UK top ten hit in 1998. The original, though, is an incredible piece of work. Beginning as a mid-tempo funk track, 'My First Mistake' has a smooth, horn and string laden intro that essentially acts as a 2 minute build up. Then, the track explodes into what can only be described as complete fire. Insanely catchy vocals, a horn solo, string flourishes left, right and centre – plus listen out for the brilliant baritone male voices in there singing 'bet you bet you bet you' as low as humanly possible.

Taana Gardner 'When You Touch Me'

Perhaps a little more obscure, we discovered this Taana Gardner (of 'Heartbeat' fame) track because it's a Larry Levan production (of course) and features on various compilations, including this great West End Records retrospective mixed by Masters At Work. As the newest of these three tracks, it probably has the most 'kick' production-wise. The beginning is again very sultry, probably inspired by 'Love Hangover', but when the tempo change comes in the track pre-empts house music, transforming into a total banger complete with massive kick drum and four-to-the-floor hats. Plus is comes in at over 10 minutes long!

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Halloween Hype Machine

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Halloween Hype Machine

Love Come Down Halloween at The Arch Gallery is imminent, and in the run up to the event we've been counting down the days by posting one of our current favourite tracks each day.

You may have seen our posts on Facebook and Twitter, but we've also decided to put them all in one handy place right here - 5 tracks to get you in the mood for this evening.

1. Change 'The Glow Of Love' (12" Extended Version)

I'm really into Change at the moment - they're so underrated. This track is one of Luther Vandross's first lead vocals (he'd previously been a backing vocalist for Chic, Diana Ross AND Bowie, amongst others), and boy does he deliver. This is some smooth shit.

2. Deep & Disco 'Feel The Rhythm' 

Razor-N-Tape is an awesome label out of Brooklyn, who have delivered a host of great edits and original tracks since they started up back in 2012. Their slogan is: "Cut in Brooklyn. Good for dance", which says it all really. This track is an edit of Chic's 1977 track 'Strike Up The Band', and we love it. But the A-Side to the 12" 'So Tight' is also well worth a listen. It was tough to choose between them.

3. Masters At Work feat. India 'When You Touch Me' (MAW Remix)

Masters At Work's most famous song also features India's vocals, but I recently discovered this one and like it just as much. Straight up, this is disco/house crossover at it's best.

4. Teddy Pendergrass 'You Can't Hide From Yourself' (Dimitri From Paris' Super Disco Blend)

Another incredibly smooth male vocalist in the vein of Luther Vandross, this Teddy Pendergrass track is one of those songs you'll probably know as soon as you hear it. Those horn stabs have been sampled so many times! The ever-reliable Dimitri From Paris brings it up to date.

5. Inner Life 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' (JM 4AM Mix)

A (perhaps THE) Paradise Garage classic - Inner Life's take on the soul standard 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' (a song that, nearly 40 years after its first release, was heavily borrowed from by Amy Winehouse) is for me the definitive version.  Controversially, I'm preferring the John Morales mix to Larry Levan's perhaps more famous version here - mainly because it's slightly more suitable for modern dance floors. You will hear this on Halloween.

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Prince Ultimate

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Prince Ultimate

When I'm DJing, there's only one CD that I never leave the house without: Prince Ultimate.

You may scoff that it's a Greatest Hits collection, but this is Prince we're talking about. Both discs are great, but Disc 2 is where this compilation really becomes a cut above your usual 'Best Of'. It's all about extended, 12" Prince. 

The only gripe is that there's so many incredible tracks from Prince's 'purple patch' (1979's Prince through to 1988's Lovesexy) that had to be cut. 'When You Were Mine', 'Erotic City', 'Bambi', 'Take Me With U' and 'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man' are all absent, amongst many others.

In the words of the great man: "So many hits, so little time."

Prince is the dream we all dreamed of. His music can be played in any context, to any crowd. If you have Prince Ultimate with you, you're sorted.

At a house music night? You can drop Prince.

DJing a wedding? There's countless options.

Hip-Hop or RnB night? No problem. 

Playing a rock night? You can still play Prince (Ok, ok - this isn't on Prince Ultimate but it should've been)...

Need an incredible last-song-of-the-night option? It's on there.

It goes without saying that you can play Prince at a disco night. The man effortlessly fits into almost every genre - mainly because he is a genre unto himself.




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Masters At Work

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Masters At Work

Recently I've been cultivating a massive Masters At Work obsession.

Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez and 'Little' Louie Vega have been making music as a duo since the late 80s. They came on the scene just a few years after Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson et al had started using machines to transform disco records into the dance floor fodder we know as house music today - but crucially MAW introduced a host of South American flavoured, organic textures to compliment their peer's drum machine led sound.

The thing that really gets me about MAW productions is their impeccable rhythm sections. Every track has wonderful drum sounds that - with the exception of some of their darker, more club focussed tracks - sound like they've been played by a full percussion section. Basslines, meanwhile, meander around them with a rubbery dexterity that surpasses the musical ability of other house music producers. 

Last week, Defected Records released 'House Masters: Masters At Work Volume 2' - a second compilation going even deeper into the pair's output than the first did a few years back.

Although predominantly a disco night, here at Love Come Down we're also very interested in the intersection between disco and house - two genres that remain intrinsically linked today. Much of Masters At Work's output straddles that divide perfectly, so here's few of our choice pick MAW productions to get you into the vibe before our Halloween party next month (and yes, there is a Simply Red (!) remix in there, but don't be put off by that, it's amazing):

Masters At Work 'When You Touch Me' (M.A.W. Remix)

Simply Red 'Thrill Me' (Masters At Work House Mix)

Masters At Work feat. India 'Backfired' (M.A.W. Main Mix)

Masters At Work feat. India 'To Be In Love' (M.A.W. Mix)

Black Masses 'Wonderful Person' (M.A.W. Vocal Mix)

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Larry Levan

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Larry Levan

Although not strictly an artist in his own right, DJ and Producer Lawrence Philpot - A.K.A. Larry Levan - is one of the most important people to have ever been a part of the disco scene.

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80s Boogie: Gayle Adams 'Love Fever'

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80s Boogie: Gayle Adams 'Love Fever'

It always surprises me that there's a seemingly endless supply of great 80s disco/boogie tracks, all of which seem to have amazing extended versions. There's nothing better than a proper extended version, and the specific mixes always have faintly ridiculous names.

Yesterday I discovered this: Gayle Adams 'Love Fever'. Despite what the YouTube title says, this is actually called the 'Mastermix' (!) - although 'Special Disco Version' was also a popular name of the era. So much so that former LCD Soundsystem members James Murphy and Pat Mahoney named their DJ duo just that.

Here it is then, 7 minutes 52 seconds of amazing 80s drum machine sounds and diva vocals...

 

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