Friday, August 14, 2009

Horse Meat Disco

"At its heart, disco is about two things: joy, and escape.

Disco channels many things – heartbreak, elation, celebration – in an ecstatic catharsis that’s both emotional and physical. Born out of a time of recession, its lush textures and grand drama conjure a world of glamour and extravagance that’s available to anyone. The dancefloor too casts a particular spell. It is a place to forget about the cares of the day, a place where anyone can be anyone they want to be and a place where you can be yourself. It’s a place to conjure the giddy heights of pure pleasure that the daily grind does not allow. 'In the evening,' as the great philosopher Sheryl Lee Ralph sings, 'the real me comes alive. It’s like magic.' "

-from the liner notes to Horse Meat Disco

Disco music has gotten a fairly bad rep, with visions of Tony Manero in his white suit pointing towards the sky seared into most peoples memory when the term is mentioned. It's a shame really, because just as with all genres, there's the mass produced manure that got mass merchandised and played out to death, and then there are the lesser known gems which still deserve to be spun. While history might have it written down that disco died on July 12, 1979, the truth is it just headed back underground where it had been thriving for years before being "discovered" by mainstream America. Truth is, it's still going strong, you just need to know where to look for it. And a good place to start, if you find yourself in London, is Horse Meat Disco.

While the club's only been around since 2004, it's fame and popularity have spread the world over. Founded by James Hillard and Jim Stanton, the club channels the spirit that flowed in the former disco capitol of the world, NYC, before things got ugly. To help spread the gospel of disco, the club teamed up with Strut Records to put together a collection of classic tracks, dating mostly from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, into a 2 CD collection. The first disc holds sixteen tracks, mixed together, giving you the feel and rhythm of what a night might be like on the HMD floor. The second disc has twelve of those sixteen tracks in extended, unmixed form. And while Best Of Disco collections are a dime a dozen (although really, who can get enough of Stayin' Alive), unless you're a disco-maniac, the only name on the line-up you'll probably recognize is Smokey Robinson. So if you can get past your disco bias, there really is some exuberant, enjoyable danceable music to be found here.

Plaza - (Got My) Dancing Shoes : Horse Meat Disco

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