February 17, 2021 is the 17th day of Black History Month. The month has been rushing by — but throughout this past month, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styes. Hopefully, this may be a bit of a primer one the Black experience.
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.
Larry Levan was a legendary dance music producer and club DJ, who was best known for his decade residency at Paradise Garage. Levan began experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers with his production work and live sets, making him one of the godfathers of house music. So if you dig house music, remember : house music is defiantly Black, fiercely queer as fuck and political by necessity.
To my knowledge, there isn’t much video of Larry Levan doing his thing — but there’s some audio of some his DJ sets, including these two.