When it comes to jackin’ Chicago style acid house revivalism, few can hold a candle to Paranoid London. As this long-awaited second album proves, the duo is the undisputed masters of sweaty, TB-303 driven jack-tracks and – as recent single ”(Vi-Vi) Vicious Games” and LP opener ”Starting Fights” prove – classic-sounding vocal cuts that recall the glory years of Fingers, Inc in the mid-to-late 1980s. Interestingly, ”PL” boasts far more collaborations than we’ve seen from Paranoid London before, including a string of ragged club cuts blessed with evocative spoken word vocals, a thrusting acid throb-job with lead vocals by Simon Topping and a suitably twisted, machine-driven hook up with Arthur Baker and Alan Vega (the raw and weighty ”Angel Of Hell”).
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For the last 20 years London-based author and party organiser Tim Lawrence has dedicated himself to excavating the history of New York City party culture and bringing some of the most powerful aspects of that culture to London’s dance scene, from where it has ricocheted around the world. Having conducted the first set of major interviews with David Mancuso, Lawrence started to put on Loft-style Lucky Cloud Sound System parties with David and friends in London in June 2003. In early 2004 he published Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79, which tracked the influence of the Loft on the wider New York DJ, dance and disco scene. In 2009 his biography of the iconic musician Arthur Russell became the first book to map the wider downtown music scene. These beautifully written and politically insightful histories have educated, inspired and celebrated the previously overlooked foundations of contemporary dance music. Lawrence’s most recent publication, Life & Death On The New York Dancefloor, 1980 – 1983, published in late 2016, shines a light on ‘one of the most dynamic and creative periods in the history of New York City’. Falling between the more regularly celebrated sounds of disco, house and techno, the period produced a uniquely hybrid series of sounds that never acquired a settled name. This led them to be largely ignored by historians and even DJs, yet the power of the period’s music and the scenes it birthed, Lawrence argues, remains undeniable. Met with a rapturous response, Life and Death On The New York Dance Floor saw Lawrence on the road for most of the next year as he spread the word about the characters, the records, the clubs and the bands that shaped the post-Disco, post-Punk, and burgeoning Hip Hop landscapes of New York City during the early 1980s—a period when freedom still ruled.