VA – Life & Death on a New York Dance Floor Part 1 [REAPPEARLP001PT1]

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.

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VA – Life & Death on a New York Dance Floor Part 1 [REAPPEARLP001PT1]

Heinrich Mueller – False Vacuum [WEME313.20]

This is the first time any of Heinrich Mueller’s highly sought after remodels/reworks have been compiled together. Many have been previously available only on limited releases and have patiently been awaiting discovery by a wider audience. These 9 specially selected examples embrace all facets of his approach. First up is the ultra smooth and minimal ‘Fadin’ Away’ by The Hacker from 2000, probably one of his most sublime and timeless creations. Then jump forward to 2011 when he serves up an infectious and sparse slice of robot funk for Albert van Abbe’s ‘NCS_0009121010’. By the time of Alek Stark’s ‘Halo 6’ (2014) he’s still got the dance-floor on his mind, but it’s located on an alien or perhaps underwater world in some dimension parallel to our own. In 2009 he works for the first time with fellow Drexciyan traveller DJ Stingray and delivers the hard edged but still quite delicate ‘Drone FX’. Jump to 2005 and he conjures the playfully disjointed ‘P.O.M. (Time Dilation Mix 2)’ for Duplex. In 2000, when he had a close relationship to the label, International DeeJay Gigolo, who were releasing Dopplereffekt and the first fruits of Der Zyklus, they commissioned him to make a series of groundbreaking mixes. On one of which he got to mesh his own futuristic vision with that of Stanley Kubrick on ‘Dave’ by Station Rose. The other closes this collection and is another of his most accessible works, with the best bassline, ‘What Use’ by the legendary ’70s San Francisco band, Tuxedomoon. In 2011 he also produced a darkly atmospheric and relentlessly mechanical interpretation of DJ Stingray’s ‘The Sadist’. In 2003, another of his best production efforts, again aimed off-squarely at yet another form of mutant dance floor, came out of a total revamp of an untitled track by The Advent. Fittingly this was originally included on Recreations, an album where artists were invited to do what Heinrich Mueller does best.

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Heinrich Mueller – False Vacuum [WEME313.20]

VA – Bay Area Retrogade Vol.1 & 2 [DE075]

Dark Entries have combined Bay Area Retrograde (BART) Volume 1 and 2 on a single CD. BART is Dark Entries compilation of underground music from San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) made between 1978-1988. Towards the end of the 70s, San Francisco’s experimental music scene clashed with the aftermath of punk and gave birth to a vibrant underground. By the early to mid 80s the DIY music scene of the Bay Area was a hotbed for experimental and quirky new wave, post punk, and synthpop, quite similar to New York’s No Wave scene and Berlin’s Neue Deutsche Welle. This compilation connects the (transit) lines between these varied musical offerings and tells the secret story of eleven forgotten Bay Area bands. BART Volume 1 features a Korg-heavy assault from Danvilles utterly obscure Nominal State; two little-known left-field electronic dance gems from Batang Frisco and Quiet Room; Berkeleys answer to darkwave, Necropolis of Love; a synth-driven drama fest from drag performance troupe Wasp Women; quirky lo-fi gothic pop from one man band Distant Thunder; a gay Hi-NRG anthem delivered by Danny Boy and the Serious Party Gods; two lesser know gems from SF synth legends Voice Farm and Los Microwaves; and the futuristic pulsing synth-punk of Standard of Living and the Units. BART Volume 2 features slow, dystopian horror from pioneering industrial group Factrix; crushing, motorik noise from acid punks Chrome; amphetamine-driven synth punk from Red Asphalt; an early demo, never released on vinyl, from legendary post punk band Tuxedoomon; chilling atmospheric drone from Ki Di Me; leftfield new wave from Indoor Life featuring Patrick Cowley on synths; Los Microwaves more sinister side project Baby Buddha; gay drag icon Timmy Spence delivering an unknown camp classic, a pure instrumental electro-pop workout from Human Being Men; TR-808 fueled synth pop from Menlo Park duo Wonders of Science, and a poetic yet somber and haunting song from the mysterious Zru Vogue.

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VA – Bay Area Retrogade Vol.1 & 2 [DE075]

VA – Trevor Jackson presents Metal Dance 2 [STRUT107LP]

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Strut present ‘Metal Dance’, a new compilation from one of the UK’s most respected DJ / producers, the man behind Playgroup and original founder of the legendary label Output Recordings, Trevor Jackson. Echoing elements of his renowned DJ Kicks mix from 2003, Jackson draws here on specials that have peppered his DJ sets for almost two decades. ‘Metal Dance’ mines deep and hones in on the more underground and danceable side of industrial, post-punk and EBM (Electronic Body Music), a phrase coined by Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk but honed by later bands like DAF and Front 242 as socialist realist aesthetics were dragged onto the dancefloor during the mid-’80s. Jackson cherry-picks classics and rarities from this era, including a new edit of Nitzer Ebb favourite ‘Control I’m Here’ (sampled on Quartz’ rave classic ‘Meltdown’), the cold dance of Analysis’ ‘Surface Tension’, Neon’s dark ‘Voices’, re-interpreting a Master C&J riff from the early days of Chicago house, and hard-hitting dubs from Pete Shelley, Alien Sex Fiend and more. Herein lie sounds that have heavily influenced today’s crop of artists – from LCD Soundsystem and The Knife to Factory Floor and Hot Chip. Elsewhere on the album, Jackson brings in unexpected gems – a track from cult John Carpenter film ‘Escape From New York’ re-edited by Klein & MBO’s Mario Boncaldo, a lost album track by avant garde Spanish artist Diseno Corbusier and a UK promo-only mix of Yello’s ‘You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess’.

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VA – Trevor Jackson presents Metal Dance 2 [STRUT107LP]