Monday, April 03, 2023

Hand in hand in the rain

Posting another mix, this one in a more House-oriented direction again, featuring a combination of mine and my partner, Andrew's records. Also recorded this at the end of January, yet feels right for this time of year just as the season changes and the snow gives way to rain.

Also, a good time to post this now, since Andrew and I will be playing records again as INTERGEN
this coming Wednesday April 5th at our favourite listening bar The Little Jerry. If you're in the Toronto area, come by! As with the last time, some of the records here will end up in our collective bags. (Digital flyer and photo by Andrew Zealley)

All the records used in this mix

In lieu of track notes, I've put Discogs links to the individual tracks in the tracklist below... Enjoy!

Hand in hand in the rain (Download)


Mark E - I’m Your Eversion
Stefan Ringer - You Know
Javonntte - Walking In The Rain
Lipelis - Video Track
Psycho Weazel - Gomina (feat. Sandford)
Fallout - The Morning After
Cloud 9 - Do You Want Me Baby (Deep Dub
Linda Clifford - Whatcha Gonna Do (Jazzy Groove)
Patrice Scott - Better Days
Loure - Two Times Deep
Azura - Theme From Azura (Dream Version)
Arnold Jarvis - Take Some Time Out (Club)
Panoram - Seabrain (Quiet Village Remix)


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Disco Delivery Mix #11: Midnight Shift

Photo: Newsstand by Toby Old, 1999

Putting up another Disco mix I recorded back at the end of January. A combination of records I had recently acquired along with others from the recesses of my collection.

Going from light to dark, moonlight to sunshine, a little froth and a little funk, I thought the Donna Summer track "Working The Midnight Shift" (which appears at the middle of this mix) set the tone for things quite well.

A personal thing I've really enjoyed about doing these mixes (and playing them back) is how it's given me an opportunity to take records that I haven't played in a while and really make them part of my daily/regular listening.

Disco Delivery Mix #11: Midnight Shift (Download)

Tracklist and track notes below. Enjoy!


T.C. James & The Fist-O-Funk Orchestra - Bumpsies Whipping Cream (Savarese 12” Mix)
Nite School - Do You Speak French?
José Calvário - Lisboa à noite (Lisbon By Night)
Manu Dibango - Motapo
Trademark - Days Of Pearly Spencer
Chrisland - Angela, Angel
Donna Summer - Working The Midnight Shift
Theo Vaness - Sentimentally It’s You
Who’s Who - Palace Palace
The Stewart-Thomas Group - To Freak Or Not To Freak
The Red Stripe Band - Try Love
Billy Newton-Davis - Romance (Disco Remix)
Dusty Springfield - Baby Blue (Disco Version)
Nancy Wilson - Sunshine

All the records used in this mix

Track notes:

T.C. James & The Fist-O-Funk Orchestra - Bumpsies Whipping Cream (Savarese 12” Mix): A bit of a lascivious start to the mix, I first heard this song on the T.C. James & The Fist-O-Funk Orchestra album which was a lovely cheap find some years back. Was delighted to discover this lovely extended mix by Tom Savarese on 12". This was taken from the Canadian 12" which has Savarese mixes on both sides. A US promo has a Walter Gibbons Mix (not of this song) on the A-side, and has become well sought-after, going by its Discogs stats.

Nite School - Do You Speak French?: A little sexy "parlez-vous français?" instructional number with a lot of sprightly female vocals and swirly strings, which is always a winning combination with me! Belgians Jean Kluger and Ralph Benatar with American producer/engineer Galen Senogles appear to be the team behind this. Benatar with either Kluger or Senogles also had a hand in other disco goodies by Black Blood and LAX, among others. Senogles was also the engineer on a number of Rinder & Lewis projects on the AVI label.

José Calvário - Lisboa à noite (Lisbon By Night): A little something from an obscure album, The Best Disco In Sound from noted Portugese composer José Calvário, which happened to get a Canadian release back in the day. A lovely orchestral disco album which lands in the same lane as the records of Costandinos, side-long suites playing all the way through seamlessly.

Manu Dibango - Motapo: I had gotten Manu Dibango's 1978 album Sun Explosion for cheap a few years back at one of my local (and dearly departed) record haunts here in Toronto. For 4 tracks and a whopping $3, there were some lovely long Afro-disco goodies on here, this being one of them. In a sense, works in much the same way as the very euro-orchestral disco of the previous entry.

Trademark - Days Of Pearly Spencer: A favourite of mine, and one of the better covers of singer-songwriter David McWilliams' original from 1967, reportedly about a homeless person from the streets of Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Marc Almond would later successfully cover this in 1992 however, not surprisingly, I enjoy this disco version best. Even keeping the "telephoned in" vocal effect used in the original, there's an evocative melancholy here which which is not only retained but in my opinion, heightened in this disco translation.

Chrisland - Angela, Angel: Continuing on the disco noir of the previous track is this song by Chrisland, one of several monikers used by the French singer/producer Christian Girard. With lyrics like "it must have been the devil to have left those scars upon your arm," it's evidently a disco song about losing a loved one to the depths of heroin addiction. Unusual subject matter for disco to say the least, but one that I've long loved and wanted to place properly in a mix.

Donna Summer - Working The Midnight Shift: The namesake of this mix and the final entry in these disco chronicles of urban misery is perhaps one of my favourite Donna Summer songs, and in my opinion one of the best moments of her Once Upon A Time double album. The urging pulse of Giorgio Moroder's synthesized backing track perfectly evokes the sadness and desperation of the lyrics and Donna's yearning vocal. A little pitched up here for beat-matching purposes, but hopefully not to the song's detriment.

Theo Vaness - Sentimentally It’s You: Including yet another Theo Vaness track on this mix, one that I had retrieved from my collection in storage over the Christmas holidays. There are sections of the vocal and lyric that I'm not especially crazy about, however I decided to mix this in just before my favourite part of the track, when that great propulsive break kicks in. Taken from his Bad Bad Boy album, which has probably one of the more homoerotic disco album cover shots of the time.

Who’s Who - Palace Palace: Lifting things up a little is this nugget by Daniel Vangarde, French disco super-producer and father of Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. Reportedly inspired by a night at a New York roller-disco where he was taken by the dancers skating with whistles and perhaps also an ode to the famed Parisian disco "Le Palace," this is undoubtedly one of my favourite things to come from the mind of Daniel Vangarde. Because Music recently released a lovely retrospective of his work on his Zagora label, which also includes this track. Nevertheless, was glad to find an original 12" late last year.

The Stewart-Thomas Group - To Freak Or Not To Freak: A pleasant little cheapie that I also came across late last year, this was a one-off single by Marvell Thomas, (brother of Rufus, Carla and Vaneese Thomas), and soul songwriter Randall Stewart. While I probably wouldn't call this the greatest thing I've bought for $2.99, it's certainly not without it's charms, and provides a nice little lift in the mix.

The Red Stripe Band - Try Love: I had heard this track out from time to time, wondering what it was. Finally found out when I saw it reissued on 7" late last year, which I ordered straight away. Originally recorded by it's songwriter Tony Wilson, founding member of the group Hot Chocolate, this is easily my favourite version of this song. As of this writing, original pressings of the 1981 single are going for over $300 US on Discogs.

Billy Newton-Davis - Romance (Disco Remix): A pleasantly surprising recent cheap find, likely the first single from Toronto-based singer Billy Newton-Davis. I recall in the early days of this blog, a reader emailing me about looking for a copy of this single. Never had any luck coming across it until late last year. Produced by a one Boh Tanasijczuk, (who only has this one credit to his name on Discogs) and mixed by Toronto Disco DJ Wally MacDonald, it may not have been as polished as some of Newton-Davis' later work, but it has an appealing groove that convinced me to take this home.

Dusty Springfield - Baby Blue (Disco Version): A non-album disco single from the late, great Dusty Springfield, I had long been taken by this song, so much so that I ended up buying a copy of the 12" on eBay late last year. Written by some British heavy-hitters - Bruce Woolley, with Geoff Downes and future super-producer Trevor Horn (both later in The Buggles), this is perhaps my favourite of Dusty's disco efforts. I remember being surprised to read that Dusty herself was more enthusiastic about performing and releasing disco in the late 70s than even many of her producers were, which perhaps explains why this was one of the few. Love the combination of her vocals over the sleek synth pulse and latin-tinged percussion here.

Nancy Wilson - Sunshine: Ending things on a mellower, jazz-funk tip here. Taken from Nancy Wilson's 1979 Love, Life & Harmony album, one of the last from her long run at Capitol Records. While this album had some disco-leaning tracks, this song, however, was not among them. Fully one of the sublime highlights of the album though and one of the best grooves she's put her inimitable vocal stylings to.


Monday, February 20, 2023

Sky House Mix - Parts 1 & 2

Fully activating my SoundCloud account and just uploaded a pair of mixes I made in the past month. Trying something different here, at least for me. Going in a more House-oriented direction with these. Mixed with a combination of mine and my partner Andrew's records.

Incidentally, if you're in the Toronto area, Andrew & I will be also be playing records as INTERGEN this coming Wednesday February 22nd at The Little Jerry. Some of the records in these mixes will surely make the cut!
(Digital flyer by Andrew, digital wigs by YouCam Makeup)

In lieu of track notes, I've put Discogs links to the individual tracks in the tracklists below... Enjoy!

Sky House Mix, Part 1 (Download)


Gavinco - West Horizon
Simoncino - Masonry
Materie - My Language (Dub)
Kai Alcé feat Rico + Kafele Bandele - Take A Chance (Mr. Fingers Full Ambient Acid Instrumental)
Superpitcher - Monks In The Sky
Kiwi - Schulze
Panthera - Bra
Palermo Disco Squad - After All These Tears
Paranoid London - (Vi-Vi) Vicious Games (with Josh Caffe)
DJ City - Luke
Genius of Time - Juno Jam
Hiroshi Matsui AKA Royal Mirrorball - (Earth In) Blue
Jovonn - Random
Kenny "Jammin’" Jason feat. Paris Grey - Don’t Want It (Club Mix)
Sample Minded - The Sound of Redness (Club Mix)

Sky House Mix, Part 2 (Download)


Will Long - Under-Currents (DJ Sprinkles Overdub)
Fort Romeau - Jack Rollin'
Daso - Meine
Levon Vincent - Untitled (Niresa EP - Side B)
Kuniyuki & Soichi Terada - Get Up
Kings of Tomorrow feat. Elzi Hall - Show Me
Talaboman - Samsa
Lord of the Isles - Together
Digital Justice - Theme From "It's All Gone Pearshaped"
Ragtyme - I Can’t Stay Away (Power-Pella)
Touch - Love Fixation (Vocal)


Sunday, January 08, 2023

Disco Delivery Mix #10: Night People Have More Fun

Photo: Potassa de la Fayette by Meryl Meisler, 1977

Starting off the new year with a new mix!

I usually visit family every year over the Christmas holidays, and while I'm there, I have the opportunity to dig for records in my own collection (the part that's in storage) and pick up some more at some of my old stomping grounds. This year, I thought it would be nice to make a mix of the records I brought back. I recorded a few different takes, but the first try (uploaded here) turned out to be the best.


Decided to add some track notes to this post, so first the tracklist, then the notes:


Electra - Feels Good (Carrots and Beets) (Instrumental)
Marzio - Phantom of the Opera
The New York Models - Hot For You (Extended Version)
Lime - Angel Eyes
Theo Vaness - Night People Have More Fun
Dynamic Superiors - Nowhere To Run
Cuba Gooding - Running Man
Laura Taylor - Some Love
Gladys Knight & The Pips - It's A Better Than Good Time (Walter Gibbons 12" Mix)
Patsy Gallant - Sugar Daddy
Sandy Mercer - You Are My Love (Walter Gibbons & Steve D'Aquisto 12" Mix)
Made In USA - Never Gonna Let You Go

All the records used in this mix

Track Notes:

Electra - Feels Good (Carrots and Beets) (Instrumental): I noticed this single had been reissued recently and given that, looked like originals were starting to get a little pricey. I swore I had a copy, but I couldn't seem to find it. As it turns out, I had it in Calgary in my boxes in storage. I need to give my copy a little cleaning, but it's no wonder this is in demand again - a lovely record landing right in the intersection of Italo-disco and US electro.

Marzio - Phantom of the Opera: I found this little Italo single - a US pressing, no less, for a cool $2 in Calgary back in 2006. This track is actually the B-side, which I honestly found much more interesting than the A-Side, "Volcano." Some off-kilter vocals from Marzio, but it has some of those lovely synth sounds and chords that I enjoy from this era of Italo Disco.

The New York Models - Hot For You (Extended Version): One of the many projects released by Bobby "O" back in the early 80s, I had recently obtained the Bordello A Parigi reissue of another New York Models single, "Love On Video." Originals of that were starting to go up in price and when I saw that I had this in storage (which is also getting similarly pricey), had to bring it back! Bobby "O"'s productions from this time can be on the formulaic side, but when they're as good as this, I can't resist.

Lime - Angel Eyes: Lime can be a bit of a mixed bag for me. Denis & Denyse LePage's productions are chock-full of interesting melodic hooks, production ideas and great synthwork, but there are times when the vocals put a damper on things. However, took out my copy of the Lime 3 album in storage and found it to be a great listen all the way through. This number shined brightly on the album, so it finds it's way here!

Theo Vaness - Night People Have More Fun: Entering the straight-ahead disco portion of this mix, the one Theo Van Es is another that has been a mixed bag for me in the past. Michaele, Paul and Lana Sebastian were some of the most consistent producers of disco and upon listening to his self-titled album, this track stood out. Sure, it's a little on the heteronormative side, lyrically. Either way, they'd redeem themselves elsewhere (see the heavy homo overtones on Vaness' second album cover), and this has some percussive hooks that stuck with me long enough to include it here.

Dynamic Superiors - Nowhere To Run: Motown seemed to be doing this sort of thing a lot by the late 70s, covering itself with increasing regularity. I suppose it was also good way to double-dip on some of that publishing $$. Once in a while though, some really interesting covers came out of this push, this being one of them. Two-thirds of Holland-Dozier-Holland are back producing a retread of the same song they did for Martha & The Vandellas in 1965 and it translates well to disco, I think. The instrumental breaks in the second half of the track are dynamite, especially the bass guitar towards the end, which I unfortunately mixed out of before it really got started, but you can still get a sense of where it goes. In any case, it convinced me to take their 1977 Give & Take album back with me.

Cuba Gooding - Running Man: Some more Motown disco, this time courtesy of Cuba Gooding (Sr.), on a little solo break from The Main Ingredient. While going through my record boxes, saw that I had a copy of his second solo LP, Love Dancer. Produced by label stalwart Michael L. Smith (AKA Michael Lovesmith) this was one of 2 or 3 nice disco goodies on there that convined me to take this back home with me.

Laura Taylor - Some Love: Laura Taylor's album, Dancin' In My Feet, had remained elusive for me for some time. Ended up finding it misfiled at one of my old record haunts in Calgary, so decided to buy it. Found it to be an unexpectedly solid, consistent album with Taylor herself credited as a writer on many of the songs, including this one, the opening track on the album.

Gladys Knight & The Pips - It's A Better Than Good Time (Walter Gibbons 12" Mix): I've opined at length on this track here in the past, though until now, original 12" copies had remained elusive for me. Have to say this is one of my most treasured finds over the holidays. This has been reissued, both on CD and 12" recently, which means originals probably aren't as sought after they once were, but it is still nice to finally have one in my possession (and at a good price).

Patsy Gallant - Sugar Daddy: I don't have a great deal of Patsy Gallant's records, though one certainly does come across them often while record shopping in Canada. Over the holidays though, found and bought a crisp, mint copy of her Besoin d'amour album which included this sweet, charming slice of Frenglish Can-Con Disco.

Sandy Mercer - You Are My Love (Walter Gibbons & Steve D'Aquisto 12" Mix): Despite the association with Walter Gibbons, this 12" isn't all that expensive. In fact you might even call this a dollar bin record. That being said, "You Are My Love," (the A-side on my Canadian pressing, but the B-Side on all the others) is my favourite of the two songs on this single, and features some sweet breaks which convinced me to take this one back home.

Made In USA - Never Gonna Let You Go: Pulled my copy out of storage and while taking a listen to the opening track, the culminating break sounded familiar to me. Turns out it was the basis for Theo Parrish's "Never Gonna Let U Go," which itself remains a peak hour favourite and one that I still hear out a fair bit. Hearing that was all the convincing I needed to take this back.

Also, if you're in the Toronto area, my partner and I have a ongoing night at The Little Jerry, which we call INTERGEN. We play back-to-back all night and our next installment (our fourth so far) is this coming Wednesday January 11th. My partner is older and brings newer records and as the younger partner, I bring the older records. In other words, he listens forward and I listen back. It all somehow balances out and gives us both a chance to weave some interesting sound dynamics over the course of an evening. If you're in the area, come by and say hi!


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