Mainstream Disco Funk


Format: LP, Vinyl

Out of stock

Format: LP, Vinyl
Grade: New (About gradings)
Number of discs: 1
SKU: 57144
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We Want Sounds’ latest compilation takes another look at Bob Shad’s Mainstream Label and its subsidiaries Brown Dog and IX Chains records that tried to harness more commercial funk, soul and disco sounds against the backdrop of the commercial failure of jazz in the seventies. This compilation takes some of the best and lesser-known recordings between 74 and 76, many of the selections reissued for the first time on vinyl. The comp opens with the instrumental and vocal versions of Grand Jury’s Music Is Fun To Me, which sounds like a product of its time, low budget disco-funk with shades of B.T. Express, a groovy stepper with funky instrumentation and a squelchy interplay between wah-wah rhythm guitar and squawky clavinets, the instrumental take being this writer’s preferred version. South Side Coalition’s Don’t You Wanna Get Down is the most recognisable pick of the bunch, a club track that sounds achingly familiar to the likes of Brass Construction, even at a push some of the more synthy output from P&P Records with tell-tale retro-futuristic New York synths a la Patrick Adams. Three Ounces of Love’s Disco Man is as proto disco as it gets, orchestrated with lush orchestral strings and pungent horns, set atop a four to the groove with sensuous, floaty vocals imbibing the spirit of the New York club scene in the mid-seventies, a track that would have undoubtedly been in the crates of the likes of David Mancuso and Nicky Siano at the Loft. Crystal Image’s Gonna Have a Good Time has crossover traits with the likes of Philadelphia International Records’ supergroup MFSB, although maintaining a funkier and tougher edge provided mainly by thunking slap bass and sweltering rhythm guitar, channelling Philly’s orchestral soul sound and big-band prominence. The vocal version of the same track switches up the energy somewhat, evoking memories of the Trammps. Incidentally, the track was produced and arranged by Willie Lester and Rodney Brown, who were responsible for Sharon Redd’s classic 1980 club smash Can You Handle It.

Overall, a satisfying body of music that compiles together a distinct New York sound, club music that would have been played on seven inch in the days before the 12″ single that was commercially launched in 1976. Compact tracks, none of which go over 4 minutes, which channel the energy and expression of early disco music in the Big Apple.

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