Review : Various Artists - Best of Disco Demands
BoomkatFull colour gatefold with liner notes. Cut loud with 2 track/side** Notorious disco digger Al Kent rounds up the best of his legendary 'Disco Demands' edit series on vinyl for the first time. Preceding the proliferation of disco edits in the mid '00s, Al used to collect some of his favourite cuts and personal edits on a CD compilation series in the early 2000s (he doesn't remember the exact date), offering a selection of cherry-picked aces beyond the radar of even the most ardent disc jockeys. Volume 1 features eight obscure and brilliant cuts; from the flash funk of Arts & Crafts string stung 'I've Been Searching' to the low slung strut of Executive Suite's 'Why In The World Do They Keep On (Funk'in With Me)', through Silver, Platinum & Gold's dynamite 'Just Friends', the NRG burn of Allan Harris & Perpetual Motion's 'Get Ready' and a sweet boogie jazz number from Panaché called 'Sweet Jazz Music'. Disco fiends: get to know!...full text
UndergroundhiphopThe Disco Demands series started sometime in the early 2000s - I couldn't give you an exact year because it didn't feel like a big deal, so I never noted it. I simply wanted to put out a compilation of some records I really liked and maybe make a little of the money back I was spending on them. Buy some food and stuff.
There's always been Disco comps around of course but there was rarely anything that strayed too far from the standards.. the same songs kept appearing over and over again, or the comps would feature records you could pick up anywhere for little money. I've never seen the point in that. I gave up judging a record on its value or rarity a long time ago but surely there's more to disco than Exodus, Martin Circus, Mass Production and all those Salsoul, West End and bloody Prelude records. So it was a nice surprise to find that there were other people out there who thought the same way.
Volume 1 was pretty straightforward - just some nice records, with the only edit being an instrumental of Disco Socks; a strange, thinly veiled reference to the disco sucks movement. Then on Volume 2 I included a few of my edits and introduced the cover up concept to the disco world. That caused a bit of controversy, which of course I loved. And so it continued for five volumes.
What we have here then is the full series, give or take one or two cuts, all remastered, many re-re-edited, with lots of nice naked pictures to boot. For those who've asked since day one "will there be vinyl" I can finally say yes, you're holding it!...full text
PopmattersWhat you have here is a five-disc, 45-track set featuring a comprehensive selection of some of the genre’s best and rarest tracks. Curated, compiled, and re-edited by the genre’s foremost DJ and archivist. Truly a grand undertaking.
The genre is disco.
See: The Bad.
Had you cracked an egg in 1977 and left it in your cupboard, come 2012 it likely would have aged better than disco has. For most folks, disco is good for “Y.M.C.A” or maybe “Good Times” at a wedding reception, and that’s about it. But not for Al Kent. The Scottish DJ has made a reputation for himself by spinning nothing but vintage disco. Kent “re-edits” most of the tracks he uncovers, sometimes taking just a snippet of the original and looping it for a while before letting the song unspool. This is his own artform, his labor of love, and, quite possibly, his try at making disco a bit more palatable. Whatever the case, since the turn of the millennium, Kent has been gaining fans with his Disco Demands series. And now the entire series, give or take, has been assembled on one massive set.
This is not “Y.M.C.A.”, “Good Times”, or the same dozen disco tracks that repeatedly are collected on compilations. This is not even the Euro-chill of Donna Summer’s Giorgio Moroder productions. It’s everything else, and then some. Best of Disco Demands gives you funky, bass-poppin’ disco such as Puff’s “(You Got Me) In The Mood”. Smooth, disco-soul like Alan Harris & Perpetual Motion’s “Get Ready”. Booming, Phil Spector-like disco (Don Renaldo Strings’ “Fiddlin’ Around”), Afrobeat-inspired disco (Disco Warriors’ “Cumbaya Disco”), reggae-inspired disco in the form of Alex and His Soul Messengers’ “Hail to Guyana”. Disco about basketball great Julius “Dr. J” Erving. Disco about disco. Disco about disco sucking. And much, much more.
And the thing is, with the help of the remastering and Kent’s editing skills, maybe, a lot of it sounds pretty good. Pretty fresh, even. Make your way through this disco pile and you’ll discover the likes of Executive Suite’s winningly pun-employing yet no-nonsense “Why In the World Do They Keep On (Funk’in With Me)”, which just might be a reference to the homophobia disco’s large gay following tended to engender. Or Superbs’ sincere, uplifting “Party Together”. Or, best of all, Curtis’ massive, skin-tight, anthemic, life-affirming “How Can I Tell Her”. Tracks like this have nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, they bear disco’s message of optimism, perseverance, and tolerance proudly. Best of Disco Demands is a sampler’s dream, as well. Dozens of funky riffs, intricate rhythms, and groovy percussion just demand to be snatched up and turned into modern hip-hop, techno, pop, anything. They’re that good. And the playing is nearly all on “real” instruments. That means, most crucially, crisp, human drumming with propulsive hi-hat work....full text
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