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.
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.