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disco

Dancefloor Deities: Gospel Disco

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Dancefloor Deities: Gospel Disco

It’s time to preach the gospel of disco music. OK, so full disclosure – we haven’t turned to God and enrolled in a cult in the American midwest – but we have been overcome recently by a love for the gospel-influenced disco and house records that have been infiltrating LCD sets for the last year.

It was this worship (sorry) of the gospel sound that influenced our decision to come up with Love Come Down Halloween: The Church of Disco. Tickets for which you can still get >> here

So as we prepare for Saturday 27th October when we transform Styx into shadowy Church where Disco is our deity, we thought we’d list some of our favourite gospel-influenced bangers to get you in the mood. Praise be!

Ministers de la Funk feat. Jocelyn Brown ‘Believe’ (Ministers Vocal Mix)

In this list for two reasons. 1: Jocelyn Brown. 2: That organ intro.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band ‘Judge Not’ (Ray Mang Reprise)

Brand new one this, and loving the gospel vocals on Ray Mang’s Reprise version. Rejoice!

Betty Griffin ‘Free Spirit’

Props to genuine gospel-disco expert Greg Belson for introducing us to this one on his excellent compilation ‘Divine Disco: American Gospel Disco 1974-1985’. Powerhouse vocal, powerful bassline; the ‘power of the Lord’ in song form.

Hubie Davidson ‘Sanctified’

The second release on Midland’s already-legendary ‘ReGraded’ label (we’re ready for the next release, btw!) this one does the business with horns, keys and vocal snippets all driven by some God-given percussion and a sacred amount of tremolo.

Jamie 3:26 ‘Blessin’

A Love Come Down favourite that we’ve posted about before, this one has an insistent, seemingly endless positive groove that’s a constant presence throughout – much like the Lord Jesus Christ, we suppose.

Jasper Street Company ‘Solid Ground’ (Spensane Vocal')

It’s difficult to discuss modern, dancefloor-focussed gospel music without mentioning the Basement Boys, DJ Spen and the Jasper Street Company. According to their Discogs entry, “Jasper Street Co. is the premier gospel-oriented house-music group”, which makes it hard to pick just one of their extensive, group-vocal led back catalogue. ‘Solid Ground’ wins because the combination of singers works so well – every verse has a different vocalist, with the company seemingly having an endless supply of incredible voices in their ranks. The acapella, as you might expect, is also a great listen!

MFR Collective ‘Your Love Is Saved’

This one hasn’t left our rotation since it came out on Razor N Tape around 2 years ago. Those drums, that bass, and THAT organ. Lordy lord! (FYI the video below is the correct track, wrongly labelled).

DJ Pierre ‘Jesus On My Mind’ (Vocal Pitch)

Absolute gospel-heat on this one from DJ Pierre, somebody usually associated with more acid-sounding records. Big vocal, massive organ! Shouts to Jeremy Underground for introducing us to this one recently.

Loleatta Holloway ‘Dreaming’ (Terrence Parker’s Divine Spiritual Remix)

We nearly didn’t post this one, mainly because it’s been a bit of a secret weapon of ours over the last 6 months, having heard it in one of our favourite DJ’s Boiler Room sets… say no more! But this is Loleatta, the ultimate voice, combined with one of the world’s most prolific gospel-infused house music producers. So we had to include it. Word, Terrence!

The Joubert Singers ‘Stand On The Word’

The definitive gospel-dance record, period. So (in)famous, in fact, there’s an entire Red Bull Academy investigative article covering the origins of the song and it’s subsequent remix (definitely not Larry Levan, apparently). When it’s this good, who cares? See you on the floor dancing to this circa 4am on Saturday 27th October at Love Come Down Halloween: The Church of Disco.

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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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Early '80s Disco on Pitchfork

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Early '80s Disco on Pitchfork

Pitchfork have coincidentally posted an interesting article about '80s disco as part of their 'Pitchfork Essentials' series.

It's a genre and era that's central to Love Come Down's music policy and general ethos, so have a read:

http://pitchfork.com/features/pitchfork-essentials/9696-early-80s-disco/

There's also a 10 song playlist of tracks to listen to (which Apple Music users can sync to their phone). Look out for the Chemise and David Joseph tracks (they're bangers) as well as Larry Levan's definitive version of 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', of course!

Check it out, and meanwhile standby for an announcement regarding our next party shortly... 

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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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