Music

KITCHEN DISCO WITH BRIAN & LEIGH

Written by Brian James @brianjamesstyling and Leigh Maynard @leighmaynard

I’m guessing that whoever coined the phrase – staying in is the new going out – wasn’t envisioning the current lockdown. What might have been constructed as a clever advertising slogan in some London or New York agency has become the new global reality.

In adapting to this new normal, many of us missing La Dolce Vita have embraced the stay at home club night as a way to keep celebrating the weekend (and any night in-between to be honest).

As a concept, what’s not to love. You control the guest list, there’s no round the block queue, no moody security and no schlepping the streets in the wee small hours looking for that missing uber.

In so many ways its the perfect club night so let’s help take you there with a setlist guaranteed to get you and your friends onto the dancefloor.
All you need do is switch the kitchen lights to glitterball mode and get dressed to get down!

See the Spotify playlist below, with a full breakdown of the tracks:

Found A Cure (Joey Negro Found A Dub Remix) – Ashford and Simpson
We kick off with the Joey Negro remix of the Ashford and Simpson 1979 disco classic “Found A Cure”. Ashford and Simpson were prolific music makers and song creators back in the day releasing a large number of records which filled ’70s and ’80s dancefloors while also finding time to pen hits for the likes of Diana Ross and Chaka Khan. Dave Lee, aka Joey Negro, is very much in the vanguard of those DJs re-imagining disco classics for 21st-century clubbing, and this remix keeps the original’s authenticity while making it 2020 relevant. Sweet vocals combine with digitally enhanced 70s horns and strings over a house beat that all meshes together to make this a thing of beauty. Six minutes, thirty-seven seconds of disco heaven.

Emotion – Purple Disco Machine
Think Studio 54 circa 1977, Bianca Jagger astride a white horse, think Jerry Hall talking art with Warhol and MJ can’t stop ’til he gets enough. This was a time when disco beats reigned the airwaves. One such track, “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love” set flare-filled dancefloors alight with its rubber-bass courtesy of Verden White of Earth Wind and Fire fame. And, long after the glitter ball stopped spinning, it remains a cult classic. Sampled in 1991 by Primal Scream, its had various incarnations, but just when you thought it couldn’t get funkier, Purple Disco Machine brought it back to generation Z in 2019. The latest version entitled Emotion comes with an even fatter bass underpinning the shrill soul sounds of the original vocalists. With a video and a title that pays homage to its disco roots, it will funk across the generations. Because, while the flares of today’s kids might come with a 90’s twist, no one can resist the call of the disco ball.

Love Is All We Need – Peter Bouncer
Peter Bouncers highly influential, but unreleased 1992 tune “Love is all we need” came out on Londons pioneering breakbeat label Shut up and Dance. Like many Londoners before him, Peter came out of the reggae and ragga scenes to explore the new rave influenced genre of drum n bass. Only ever circulated as a DJ promo this track crossed rave and drum n bass boundaries blowing up across 90s dancefloors from Dalston’s Four Aces to Soho’s Velvet Rooms. Peters soulful gospel-tinged vocals sit atop a rave influenced driving drum n bass beat, making this an uplifting and spiritual experience in every possible way. The message is in the music, and it’s one that is achingly relevant today. Love is definitely all we need.

It’s Alright (featuring Paris Brightside) – Sterling Void
Continuing that old school vocal vibe, track four takes us all the way back to the Second Summer of Love and Sterling Voids 1987 house masterpiece “It’s Alright”. One of a multitude of records that came out of the embryonic Chicago house music scene, it rises above many of its competitors with its pounding beat, thumping bass and piano overlays. It also features Paris Brightsides socially conscious vocals pleading that we all take action in the face of a world that’s on the brink of oppression. It was a message that chimed with a rave generation seeking new ways to look at the world and respond to the global problems they saw all around them. Sounding as fresh and relevant today as it did thirty-three years ago it should bring you, your mum and maybe even your gran onto those kitchen dancefloors.

Lost In Music (1984 Bernard Edwards / Nile Rodgers Extended Mix) – Sister Sledge
Reintroduced to clubbers by the 2018 Dimitri from Paris reboot, we go back to the 1984 extended mix by Chic supremos Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. Presently undergoing their own renaissance, Chics creative duo were very much at the forefront of re-imagining disco tracks and making them current as disco culture morphed into the nascent club culture that was taking shape on Brooklyn back streets and in abandoned Wapping warehouses. Pushing the sisters’ exceptional vocals way up in the mix and accentuating the piano and bass gave this pop-soul cut a new lease of club-friendly life. Played out originally by seminal New York club DJ Larry Levan, it quickly crossed the Atlantic to become a go-to track for UK DJs. While Dimitri did a great job, for me, this is the ultimate remix. Give it a listen and lose yourself in the music.

Turn Off The Lights – Chris Lake
Back in 2002, one Cristophe D’Abuc got the public’s attention with his bootleg remixes of tracks by Eurythmics and The Prodigy. Ten years and one name change later, Chris Lake was scooping a Grammy. Sweet dreams are made of this and who are we to disagree… we’ve collectively streamed his Calvin Harris/Disciple remix of “How Deep is Your Love” over 80 million times. Lake has released copious dancefloor favourites with remixes of Missy Elliot and Craig David, to name just a few. Our pick, his 2018 track “Turn off the Lights” won’t disappoint. Two androgynous outlaw lovers feature in the video directed by Joey Szela. It tells a tale of love and deception, but the last laugh is on Lake himself when they head off into the sunset with his BMW. The track, his first collab with Alexis Roberts features deep house grooves intercut with vintage synth sounds. And, whether Lake got his car back, we’ll never know, but with 25,000 streams in the first week and a half, I’m guessing he can afford an upgrade!

At Night (Peggy Gou’s Acid Journey) – Shakedown
Swiss brothers Mandrax and Seb K aka Shakedown brought us an infectious disco house hit “At Night” in 2002, featured on Top of The Pops after reaching number 6 in the UK singles chart. All 127 BPMs combined with deep disco bass, house keyboards and soulful vocals made for a noughty’s classic. South Korean DJ and producer Peggy Gou swapped the vinyl for digital beats when she revisited it in 2018 with Tiger and Woods for a 7-minute ‘squelcher’ as described by label Defected Records. The accents on funk-filled bass, drum machine breaks and the iconic synth give the latest version a raw vintage sound akin to the dance tracks of the ’80s. I can almost see Grand Master himself strutting down the Bronx streets to this one, although at a slightly jauntier pace than he did in the Message!

Crystal Skies – Logistics
Let’s step away from the disco floor for our next track where the ’90s meets inbetweenies for the bouncing drum, and bass breakbeats of Matt Gresham’s fifth album Fear Not. The former Goldsmiths student ditched the graphic design mantle and followed in the footsteps of his siblings to become the Producer and DJ, better known as Logistics. Armed with his Ableton sequencer he has released eight albums to date. The racing pulse of Crystal Skies (2012) with its sequenced overlays, tempered by the soulful vocals of Sarah Callander, gives Logistics a place between melodic liquid funk and hyped-up dancefloor heroes. And it sits there very nicely in all of its tweenies glory. But if you’re not sure this is your thing, the answer’s in the album title.

Seeing Aliens – DJ Koze
Our penultimate track takes us into deep house territory with “Seeing Aliens” from Hamburgs DJ Koze and his 2018 breakout album “Knock Knock”. Crossing and interconnecting multiple soundscapes and genres it’s an album that showcases Stefan Kozalla aka DJ Koze at both his accessible and experimental best. Released on his own Pampa Records imprint its a more conventional and commercial album than 2013’s Amygdala although this particular track sees him mining more of that experimental landscape. Atmospheric and slow-building its a bass bin throbbing multi-layered eerie, almost cinematic slice of minimal techno meets deep house. Ebbing and flowing across nearly five minutes, its musicality is matched by its danceability. Hands in the air, head nodding, four o clock in the morning vibes.

If You Only Knew – Finnebassen
And our last track demands that we get hygge with it in true Scandi style. Taking the pulse a little slower, this time we’re going for some dirty melancholic house with a slice of disco thrown into the bass, courtesy of Finnebassen. 2008 was a good year for this young producer, it’s the moment he discovered electronica, and that is good news for us. Since then he’s been busy producing and performing in his Oslo hometown, and by 2012 the world began to sit up and listen. Under UK label Electronique “If You Only Knew” was created with various remixes and the original topped the Beatport Nu-Disco charts. The track tells of a hidden love triangle. And if his girl only knew, we hate to think of the altercation that might result. Just maybe, Finebassen’s calm funk-filled bass beats might serve to mediate. Then again, what was the saying? Revenge is a dish best served chilled.

So, set the lights down low, turn the bass up high, the neighbours won’t mind, they’ll probably join in, in a socially responsible other-side-of-the-wall kind of way of course!

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