Friday, October 31, 2014

Deadly Disco: Rinder & Lewis - Gluttony

Earlier this week, BBR/Hot Shot Records released their reissue of Rinder & Lewis' landmark 1977 "Seven Deadly Sins" album, which I'm proud to have had a hand in, having interviewed W. Michael Lewis and former AVI president Ray Harris for the liner essay. A turning point in Rinder & Lewis' work together, the first to be released under their own names, not bound by any of the disco concepts they'd been doing up until that point; "Seven Deadly Sins," is easily the most ambitious and experimental record they'd done. Written and performed entirely by the both of them; influenced, yet not limited by the parameters of disco, while it may not have delivered numbers like some of their other disco productions at the time, it has gone on to become easily one of their most renowned (if not their most renowned) and enduring records.

I'll probably write at length about the liner notes on another post (like I have with some of the others I've done), however this BBR release is the first time the album has been legitimately released on CD. Despite the production delays (I had come on board with this just over two and a half years ago now), its release comes just in time for Halloween, which is perfect for an album that contains some of the most haunting disco that Rinder & Lewis ever committed to record. While most disco people know the album for the ethereal strains of "Lust," I'd have to single out "Gluttony" as yet another standout. Sounding like the apocalyptic inverse of "I Feel Love," it's perhaps the most intense, infernal track on the record. (Note: I have yet to receive my copy of the reissue, so the file below is a rip from one of my vinyl copies).

Listen: Rinder & Lewis - Gluttony (1977, AVI)

One little tidbit that Michael Lewis told me in our interview was that they were one of the first to employ the syndrum (hear a demo) when recording this album, which would become something of a common gimmick in disco records in the following years (if 'syndrums' don't ring a bell, the hook to this song probably will). Take a listen to the 3.00 and 4.30 marks of "Gluttony" to hear some of that early syndrum action.

Also, just in time for this release, the latest issue of Waxpoetics (#59 with Aaliyah and Kelela on the covers) has a great piece on Rinder & Lewis, entitled "Soul Searching" written by John M. Gómez who interviewed both Laurin Rinder & W. Michael Lewis for the story. (Note: the article is only available in the magazine, for the moment).

rinder & lewis - seven deadly sins (cd reissue) (1977, avi / 2014, big break/hot shot records)
dusty groove | | | big break records

disco delivery #45: midnight wind (1980, avi) (thursday september 27, 2007)
dancing dancing in paradise (monday december 18, 2006)
disco delivery # 25: rinder & lewis - warriors (1979, avi/quality) (sunday september 17, 2006)

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discogs: rinder & lewis - envy (animal fire) 12"
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