Loose Joints

A few posts ago I made mention of the Disco saint Arthur Russell, a boy from the heartlands who went on to record some of the most cutting-edge dance music ever written. His is an atypical story of heartbreak and overlooked talent but what he did leave behind was a collection of songs people will cherish for generations.

(Thanks in part to labels like Audika Records in NYC, which is single-handedly reviving some of the songwriters lost tapes and out-of print classics.)

One such OOP Classic comes from the from the quite difficult to find yet widely-heralded Disco Not Disco compilation, Volume I. "Tell You Today" is a 7 minute yarn of horn stabs, conga-line percussions and... slidewhistles. The beat is infectious, as cowbells lead your hips from side to side, trombones plod like circus elephants and exuberance leaps from the disco bandshell.

Teased throughout with the "Tell You" hook, the vocals appear like magic towards the end (almost 5 minutes in) lilting and melodic:

Walking down the street, I knew it was my chance
A chance today
New shoes on my feet, I thought that they could dance
Dance away
It makes me come alive, I remember, the look of sadness on your face.

But that was before,

I want to
Tell you

Loose Joints - "Tell You Today"

Russell's reissues and more can be found at websites like OM or at any self-respecting download shoppe. It's all magic.


Lose Control

As if the song isn't big enough, Elliott did the smartest thing and hired Le Remixeur Extraordinaire Jacques Lu Cont to rerub it into a nearly 8-minute long uber-track that eats clubs for lunch.

Lu Cont has a certain formula, to be sure, but it has yet to not work, so why stop? Check all his productions. He's had a hand in groups like Les Rhythmes Digitales, Zoot Woman and has towering remixes out there under Thin White Duke and Jacques Lu Cont. Some for Madonna of Detroit.

As for Missy? Same Missy. Outrageous, on-the-edge, perpetually in front of the rest. History will look quite highly on Miss E, for sure. Seen the video to "Lose Control" yet? Totally radical.

As for her style, what she does better than most is respect the connection between hip-hop and electro. Timbaland for sure grasps this, as his productions are purely electronic. At times, Timmy can recall the house music that was born from hip-hop. So, hip-hop was born of electro, which was born of disco. Disco -> Electro -> Hip-Hop -> House. Or close to that. They all belong together, anyhow, and no one puts the pieces together better than Missy and her man JLC:

(YSI: right click open in new window)
Missy Elliott - "Lose Control (Jaques Lu Cont Remix)"

Also, my friend Michael F. Gill, promo director for Stylus Magazine (linked on the right there) put together a killer mix of electro-house you can download your own self. A well-concieved crescendo of current cutting-edge dance music. Funky, tweaky in the right spots, and bumpin like Luke.

See you tomorrow night at Middlesex.


Nublu and In Flagranti meet in NYC

Another NYC phenomenon happens in a little spot called Nublu, somewhere in the East Village, behind a small blue light. It was a bar which became an art-space which became a jam which became a band (The Brazilian Girls). Their newest project is Kudu, a shoulder-shaking phreek funk project that recalls Grace Jones as much as it does the Pointer Sisters. The new single is "Barstar."

Your remixers, In Flagranti (Sasha Crnobrnja and Alex Gloor), house themselves at Codek records, a label that grew out of the old Organic Grooves parties, where live musicians (percussions, mainly) would sit in with DJs. It was nice.

Codek is also the label for the fringe phunk of G. Rizo, the Organic Grooves compilations and a full bag of party-starting 12s.

Most of In Flagranti's stellar remixes are dirty discoid reworks, inspired by italo disco and what I like to call electrobaclash. With thier Kudu remix, they throw in pieces from the dance music underground. You can hear slices of classic jams throughout the track. 'S pretty hot.

Kudu - "Barstar (In Flagranti City Mix)"