dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1981: the last days of disco January 12, 2008

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legend has it that 1981 saw the very last days of disco, as documented in the 1998 film. of course, there is a huge flaw in this statement as costa-bound brits discoed until the late 80s. it was 1977 in spain until about 1991 everywhere else.

one of the very first bars i went to in the early 90s –  a wine bar, no less – played disco and boogie. at the time i thought it was a quirk of soundtrack similar to amusement parks, where law dictates that all music played must be at least 7 years old. it was actually because i was 15 and i wasn’t supposed to be there.

the music was for the older crowd – the disco crowd. the ones who had probably wished they could dance on illuminated dance floors a la saturday night fever but had to settle for that funny 70s slightly glittery flooring they used in shopping centres. but encrusted with disco dirt and littered with fag ends, at their local ritzy.

the last days of disco may be a pretty accurate account of those days, i don’t know. its quite bleak for a disco movie, i suppose no one quite knew what to expect after the excitement of a new decade died down. its not as depressing however, as the reality of the uk in 1981 which was majorly depressing according those who remember. as a five year old i was oblivous to the riots, strikes and nuclear warnings i have since viewed thanks to ‘i love 1981’.

the disco sucks movement, perpetrated by greasy rednecks in lumberjack shirts, finally won in 1981, and disco became boogie…

download here and visit 1980 here

aurra – nasty disposition

the duo started as aurra at the tail end of disco, and passed through the mid 80s jheri soul movement to become deja by the time new jack swing hit.

bb&q band – starlette

better known for their mid 80s tinkly jheri soul efforts.

class action –  weekend

this was reborn as a house anthem later in the decade and remixed in the 90s by todd terry.

coffee – casanova

ravers baby d made their cover version the follow up to the huge ‘let me be your fantasy’. there was a nice jungle remix.

earth wind and fire – lady sun

not as obvious as ‘let’s groove’…

evelyn champagne king – if you want my love

not as obvious as ‘shame’!

inner life – moment of my life

imagine this on the dancefloor at studio 54.

madagascar – rainbow

perfect late disco classic.

patrice rushen – haven’t you heard

patrice might just be the most sampled artist ever.

rose royce- magic touch

proving she, and disco, still had it in 1981.

sharon redd – can you handle it

the line between disco and boogie was thin, at best.

slave – watching you

slave spawned steve arrington, who summed up the mid 80s with ‘feel so real’.

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you better work it girl October 27, 2007

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for all the chilly nights in student houses, and a diet consisting mostly of bagels, my overriding memory of my student days in london is of the glitz and glamour of the handbag house scene.

every saturday night i transcended my student status to dress in fluffy boots, satin skirts and babydolls dresses in subzero temperatures. in those days, cabs were not an option, at least not on the way into town. no we braved the cold and the disapproving or amused stares of more sensibly dressed tube passengers. oh we had the figures for it then, we didn’t care…

we shopped in big apple in covent garden and hyper hyper on kensington high street, we wore love hearts jewellery and dressed like giant sweets. we sucked on lollipops and took feather boas out clubbing that we would drape over the nearest person who wasn’t dancing.

these were great clubs for girls who wanted a hassle free night out. most of the male clientele were gay, and fabulous. the whole scene was borne out of an appreciation of the supermodels, house music and er, rupaul. it was colourful, flamboyant and more than a little cliquey. 

perhaps the ultimate downfall of the scene was that the clubs – malibu stacey, puscha, miss moneypenny’s, love to be – were so focused on aesthetics that there simply weren’t enough good looking customers to meet their exacting standards.  or enough girls willing to dress up as hello kitty.

still, it was fun while it lasted and on the nights we were dressed ludicrously enough to gain entry. we posed on podiums, sashayed and pretended we were in a george michael video.

download here

corona – baby baby

yosh – it’s what upfront that counts

20 fingers – short dick man

livin’ joy – don’t stop movin’

e-motion – naughty north sexy south

happy clappers – i believe

loveland – don’t make me wait

outrage – tall and handsome

tin tin out and espiritu – always something there to remind me

new atlantic – sunshine after the rain

mozaic – sing hallelujah

nush – u girls

baby d – let me be your fantasy

alex party – don’t give me your life

strike – u sure do

 

jungle: a way of life August 22, 2007

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even the kids amongst you probably don’t need an introduction to jungle. emerging from the hardcore scene of the early 90s, it was a ragga driven extension of the dancehall scene until techno started to take over the drum’n’bass scene in 1996.

like uk garage, it was a predominatly london thing. it was the soundtrack of the pirates when i moved here in 1994 and to me it was new, exciting and like nothing i’d ever heard before. so some of my abiding memories of jungle are as the soundtrack to my first year living in student halls of residence. fires in the kitchen, dirty bathrooms and being too drunk to get out of bed.

in your first year, you’re lumped with a complete mishmash of personalities, with nothing in common. the one thing that can unite people is music and yet sometimes even that fails. what do you do with a couple of r&b swingers, a hip hop queen, cheesy quaver and a girl who just got back from ibiza?

in 1994, you sent them down to the a.w.o.l. night at the ministry of sound. on a thursday night, you could actually get in for less than £10 and get a drink for about £3. there was r&b in the main bar, house and garage upstairs (this was before the refurb) and jungle in the main room.  the crowd were a melting pot of students, office caners, media and professional ravers.

at the time i probably didn’t think a.w.o.l was as cool as the friday night open techno fest or glitzy rulin’ saturday night at the ministry. how wrong i was. a.w.o.l is the only one i would still want to go to. i discovered new music and saw a man in a skirt years before david beckham was nagged into one.

a.w.o.l lasted about as long as the jungle scene, and no other ministry night has been as exciting since. i blame the refurb.

original junglistsdownload here

soundman and elisabeth troy – no greater love

firefox and 4tree – warning

da maytrix – loverman

dj taktix – the way

leviticus – the burial

omni trio – renegade snares

tom and jerry – maximum style

deep blue – helicopter tune

baby d – casanova

m-beat – style

buju banton – move ya body

bagga worries and jooxie nice – legalise

barrington levy – under mi sensi

daddy freddy – junglist sound

dms – sweet vibration

m-beat and general levy- incredible

prizna and demolition man – fire

chaka demus and pliers – gal wine

cutty ranks – original rude boy style

wayne marshall – g spot