Category: disco

Throwback: Black History Month: Donna Summer

Today is February 26, 2021. It’s the 26th day of Black History Month. And as I’ve mentioned throughout this series, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles — with the hopes that it’ll be a bit of a primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

Of course, I hope that these posts will serve as a reminder of these very important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

As a small child, my dear mother played Donna Summer obsessively — to the point that I remember the songs forwards and backwards. But seriously, where would pop music and dance music be without the legendary Queen of Disco? Also, goodness that voice!

Throwback: Black History Month: Nile Rodgers

Today is the 16th day of February — and the 16th day Black History Month. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been proudly featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles with the hopes that these artists can guide you towards further understanding of the Black experience.

As the month goes on, I hope that you’ll be reminded of these urgently important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Nile Rodgers has written, cowritten and/or produced some of the biggest and most beloved dance floor and pop hits of the past 50 years while working with a who’s who list of artists across a diverse and eclectic array of artists. I’d guarantee that Rodgers has worked with an artist you love on a song you love. And as a result, his sound and approach has been instrumental in your life.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Adeline Returns with a Sultry, Feel Good, Disco Banger

Initially making a name for herself as the frontwoman of the equally acclaimed dance music/nu-disco outfit Escort, the New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer and JOVM mainstay Adeline has developed a reputation as a solo artist of note, releasing her self-titled, full-length debut to critical praise from the likes of Vogue, NPR, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, The Fader and many others.

Adeline has opened for Anderson .Paak, Lee Fields, Chromeo, Big Freedia and Natalie Prass among others, which has helped to further cement her reputation for dazzling artists with her captivating live show and energetic presence. Adding to a growing profile as a solo artist, the JOVM mainstay has made appearances at a number of stops across the national festival circuit, including Afropunk, Funk on the Rocks and Winter Jazz Fest. And along with that, the New York-based artist has been one of the hardest working women in contemporary music, as she’s also a member of CeeLo Green’s touring band.

Intérimes EP, the highly-anticipated follow-up to her full-length debut is slated for a June 12, 2020 release and the EP will feature “Middle,” which she performed on CBS This Morning and the sultry Quiet Storm-like “Twilight,” which detailed the moment that both parties in a relationship realize that it’s over and that there’s nothing left to give, and nothing left to say. 

The Adeline and Morgan Wiley co-produced and Jonathan Singletary cowritten “After Midnight,” is the EP’s third and latest single. Featuring guest spots from Jaleel Bunton (guitar) and Jim Oroso (drums), “After Midnight” is an upbeat, feeling yourself and feeling good anthem, centered around twinkling and arpeggiated keys, propulsive drumming, a shuffling Nile Rodgers-like guitar line, a sinuous disco-influenced bass line, and a two-step inducing hook with the JOVM mainstay’s soulful, come-hither vocals. “After Midnight is a feel good song for anytime, day or night” says Adeline, noting that we can all use some feel good vibes right now. “The track was all about creating an undeniable groove. Something that’s fresh and fun yet classic and soulful at the same time.”

Shot at home, the recently release video for “After Midnight” follows the JOVM mainstay as she tries on different outfits and vamps for the camera. So we see Adeline serving up looks and fierceness — although she could easily be like the average person, gearing themselves up for a Friday or Saturday night on the town. 

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about Mighty Mouse, a rapidly rising electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ, who has built and developed a reputation for an innovative take on electronic music — and for energetic, eclectic DJ sets. Last year, he released a series of remixes and edits, including a house music-like edit on ABBA‘s disco-era classic “Lay All Your Love On Me,” which retained the song’s memorial vocal and infectious hook.

Mighty Mouse’s latest edit, finds him taking on Otis Clay’s upbeat, disco soul anthem “The Only Way Is Up.” Interestingly, the rising electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ’s edit, manages to give the song a decided Kool and The Gang-like vibe while extending the song’s infectious groove.

 

 

Born Matthew Haymes, Mighty Mouse is a rapidly rising electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ, who has built and developed a reputation for an innovative take on electronic music — and for energetic, eclectic DJ sets. Last year saw Haymes release a series of remixes and edits: interestingly, one of his biggest edits of the past year, found the rising electronic music producer, artist and DJ taking on ABBA‘s disco-era classic “Lay All Your Love On Me,” which retains the song’s memorable vocal and infectious hook while placing it within a propulsive and contemporary production, featuring tweeter and woofer rocking beats and trippy drops and electronic effects.

Mighty Mouse will be embarking on a short North American tour that includes a NYC area stop at Public Arts on January 9, 2020. Check out the tour dates and ticket links below.

Tour Dates
9th January 2020 – Public Arts, New York (US)TICKETS
 
10th January 2020 – BackBar, Washington DC (US)TICKETS
 
12th January 2020 – Gitano, Tulum (Mexico) TICKETS

New Audio: Electronic Music Pioneer Patrick Cowley’s Posthumously Released, Early Experimental and Psychedelic-Tinged Electronica

Born in Buffalo, NY, the highly influential and forward-thinking electronic music producer and artist Patrick Cowley relocated to San Francisco in 1971 to study electronic music at the City College of San Francisco. By the late 70s, Cowley’s synthesizer and production techniques landed him a gig writing and producing songs for legendary, gender-bending disco superstar Sylvester, including the sultry and propulsive, smash hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” 

Around the same time, Cowley managed to create his own brand of party music, known as Hi-NRG, which was also dubbed “The San Francisco Sound” and by 1981, he had released a string of 12″ singles as a solo artist, including “Menergy” and “Megatron Man.” Interestingly, 1981 was an incredibly busy year for the legendary electronic music producer and artist: he co-founded Megatone Records, which released his debut album Megatron Man. 

During that same year, Cowley as hospitalized and diagnosed with an unknown illness. which would later become known as AIDS. Recovering for a brief spell he went on to produce Sylvester’s smash hit “Do You Want to Funk” and Paul Parker’s “Right on Target,” as well as his sophomore album Mind Warp. Tragically. Cowley died two weeks after his 32nd birthday from an AIDS-related illness.  Since his death, Patrick Cowley has become one of electronic music’s most influential and forward-thinking artists and producers.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, his previously released work has seen posthumous re-issues, including a re-issue of Mind Warp a few years ago. 

With growing attention on the late electronic music pioneer’s work, a collection of previously unreleased material written between 1973-1980 was recently discovered. Dubbed Mechanical Fantasy Box, the 13 previous unreleased songs will be released in tandem with Cowley’s homoerotic journal of the same name, and the compilation is a collection of Cowley’s work from the years preceding his meteoric rise as a pioneer of Hi-NRG dance music. Interestingly, these songs were written and recorded  before drum machines and programmable, polyphonic digital synthesis with the material being highly experimental. Sonically, the material flows from funk to kraut to psychedelic, ambient electronics inspired by Tomita and Kraftwerk. 

Some songs were mixed from 4-track stems by Joe Tarantino and all of the compilation’s 13 songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl edition comes housed in a black and white gatefold jacket Gwenaël Rattke featuring a photograph by Susan Middleton, liner notes by bandmate Maurice Tani and an 8.5×11 insert with notes. But more important, proceeds from the compilation will be donated to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation has been committed to ending the pandemic and human suffering caused by HIV sine 1982. 

Clocking in at just a smidge under 11:30, Mechanical Fantasy Box’s first single “Lumberjacks in Heat” manages to be a trippy synthesis of John Carpenter soundtracks krautrock-inspired prog rock and psychedelia as the composition is centered by layers of shimmering and fluttering bursts of synths and some propulsive and forceful drumming.   Interestingly, much like Kraftwerk’s legendary and influential work, this previously unreleased single manages to simultaneously be of its time and remarkably contemporary — as though it could have been part of the retro-futuristic wave. 

 

Several years ago Red Bull Music Academy invited the legendary electronic music artist ad producer Giorgio Moroder to speak in front of a small group of music students about music, his creative process and more — and to what was then-billed as his first ever live DJ set at the now-defunct Williamsburg, Brooklyn nightclub Output. Along with his long-time collaborator and musical director Chris Cox, Moroder played a 75-minute set of re-arranged and exclusive remixes of some of his massive hits, as well as a Google-commissioned song (because of course, Google would do that) and his collaboration with Daft Punk.

Moroder’s DJ set manages to be an encompassing and thoughtful primer on his work and imitable sound, as well as about 45 years of disco and electronic music that boldly reminds the listener that the Italian-born, Beverly Hills-based legend would be on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of all things electronic music — and that without his work and his fellow electronic music pioneers, that 3/4s of the things you’ve listened to since about 1976 or so wouldn’t be possible. Personally though, the Red Bull Music Academy set brings back a flood of memories of one of the most formative periods of my entire life: I can picture myself as a small boy watching my mother cleaning and signing along (terribly off-key) to Donna Summer‘s “Bad Girls,” “I Feel Love”Hot Stuff,’ and “Love to Love You, Baby” as though it were yesterday.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the years, you may recall that I’ve posted this DJ set, which in some way makes this sort of a re-post; but this is necessary because the electronic music pioneer celebrates his 79th birthday today and we should be dancing the day and night away in his honor.