Articles tagged with 80s

The Cure – “Hot Hot Hot (Leon DeeJay Electrostatic Induction Mix)”

November 13

An old Cure fave amped up for maximum bounce on the dance floor? Works for me. A charitable DJ donating this remix for free to any pair of ears that cares to listen? Even better. Greek DJ/producer Leonidas Deejay posted this track to his Soundcloud almost a year ago, but just recently decided to share it with the world via that magic download button. It’s got all the funky-pale-goth-boy charm of the original, just bigger, faster and more energized. Head over to his page and grab it while you can…offers like this don’t stick around for long.

– Spoolwork

August 10


Asphixation – “The Crush”

We’re coming to the close of the 2012 Olympics, and I’m prepping several sets of nation-themed dance music to play at tomorrow night’s party The Midas Touch here in Brooklyn. As soon as I found out I’d be getting to spin some Aussie music, this song leapt to mind. Long a favorite of mine, I don’t think I’ve ever unleashed it on an unsuspecting dancefloor.

By far the standout track on a strange post-punk record entitled What Is This Thing Called ‘Disco,’? “The Crush” is the album’s catchiest and most accessible high point. The track is a lo-fi shamble of a high energy disco romp, hiccuping synth arpeggios taking turns with free jazz saxophone blasts. What really sets this tune apart from similar stuff from the era like the Mo-Dettes is the singer’s disaffected and very Aussie sounding vocal, half-sung and half-spoken, much in the style of early 80’s post-punk.

Though this LP is long out of print, you can find this track on Chapter Music’s killer compilation Can’t Stop It II, along with many other great Australian post-punk songs.

/// Brian Blackout

August 2


Prefab Sprout – Knock on Wood

I’m working on a beach-themed mixtape and I pulled out a few older gems to go on it, including this gorgeously produced Prefab Sprout tune, which falls nicely under the Balearic camp, although I don’t think anyone has taken much notice of it. With all the attention being given to folks like Tanlines and Poolside this song feels very contemporary. Paddy McAloon’s breathy vocals and sly songwriting are given a huge boost by the deft hand of Thomas Dolby* at production. Big luscious faux-caribbean drums, synth trumpets and flutes and lovely rolling gait make this a perfect tune for your next beach party. It’s in print off the Sprout’s From Langley Park to Memphis LP, which was a fitting followup to their more known masterpiece, Two Wheels Good.

* – Yes that same Thomas Dolby who did She Blinded Me with Science, I’m a huge fan, his work is much deeper than his two hit wonder status in the US might suggest.

July 19

Clear (Tony Johns edit) – Cybotron

Englishman Tony Johns has been putting out some killer edits lately, and this is one of my faves. He takes Cybotron’s Detroit anthem “Clear,” and throws some rumbling latin percussion under it. It might sound kind of crazy but it sounds like a perfect match for mid 80s early electronic music. Can’t wait to unleash this one on the floor.

While we’re at it, here’s another Tony Johns edit, this one of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Rage Hard,” a fun little late 80s romp hovering somewhere between new wave and early house. Johns has a lot of fun looping pieces of the track in silly ways, it’s a lot of nerdy fun.

Check out Tony Johns’ Soundcloud for more tasty edits

July 3


Pino D’Angio – “Una Notte Da Impazzire”

Surprisingly, given this oversaturated info-age we live in, I’ve haven’t been able to turn up much in the way of facts on Pino D’Angio. This track, which translates as “A Night To Go Crazy,” landed on my doorstep by way of a mix CD club I joined briefly with a bunch of mostly-strangers, trading discs through the mail with oblique hand-drawn covers and impressively obscure playlists. After some Google sleuthing, I’ve established this much- the man likes to casually chat his way through songs, usually while smoking, making me wonder if he’s Italy’s disco answer to Serge Gainsbourg. Pino’s biggest hit (which he also chats and smokes through) is “Ma Quale Idea” from 1980, and after that he seems to have migrated to the world of film composing. The track is fun, laid-back and full of self-conscious cool. Trying a little too hard? Maybe, but I think it only adds to his charm.

– Spoolwork

May 31

Venice Beach are a couple of Parisian DJs whose star is rising. A lot of folks are excited about their remix work of electro and indie musicians like Metronomy, M83, and Sebastian Tellier, but they also excel at taking classic dance tracks and tweaking them a bit for a modern dancefloor.

Based on their sound, it’s no surprise that these guys are big italo fans, and they’ve made several nice (and freely downloadable) versions of tracks like Mr. Flagio’s “Take a Chance,” Clio’s “Faces,” and a fun stop-start take on B.W.H.’s “Stop.” It was hard to pick just one to blog about, but I was most impressed with their version of Dharma’s “Plastic Doll.”

I’m not all that familiar with the original “Plastic Doll.” Typical of a lot of italo, it deftly combines robotic proto-house rhythms and soaring synthpop histrionics. Throw in some some disaffected, heavily accented vocals that culminate in a keening wail in a killer chorus. Venice Beach begin by housing up the kick drums and snares, loop things a bit, and then really get crazy with running little bits of the original through a lot of echo. The effect is stunning, and the track now nicely bridges between 80s production and modern electropop. It’s also a free download so head over to the Venice Beach soundcloud and pick up a few nice odds and ends.

Dharma – Plastic Doll (Venice Beach Rework)

/// Brian Blackout

May 29

I never met a dance floor that didn’t love Prince, and London-based producer Mighty Mouse has bestowed a gift to DJs and party-goers worldwide by adding another track to the growing list of A-list edits of His Purple Royalty’s cache of tunes. Granted, “Controversy” was pretty great already, but Mighty Mouse, living up to the legacy of his namesake, takes the small-yet-powerful approach- little tweaks here and there (starting the song off with the original vocal outro, for instance), flexing just enough muscle in the beefed-up backbeat- and takes this gem to the next level, polishing it to a heavenly, glittering fine-cut diamond of a jam.

Grab this track while it’s hot and free on Mighty Mouse’s Soundcloud page.

– Spoolwork

May 15

Praise Allah and Hashem that The Clash opted out of their blues rock boogie approach to “Rock The Casbah” (as evidenced in this live recording, oy veh) when they went into the studio to record Combat Rock. Instead, they turned in a heavily disco-inflected take, awhirl in bongo trills, rolling piano flourishes, and synthetic handclaps, along with the more traditionally Clash-ist guitars and drums falling in line behind Paul Simonon’s limber bassline and marching straight down to the dance floor. This new edit by French DJ MikeandTess ups the banger-ante even more, adding healthy wallops of beefed-up drums and percussion, as well as stretching out the intro, letting the buildup simmer for just a bit before boiling into a frenzy. I dropped this in a DJ set recently and as soon as “Sharif don’t like it” kicked in, the air was awash in hands and the hardwood floor looked more like a trampoline. Rock the Casbah, indeed.

– Spoolwork

April 20

Kashif may not be a household name, but to boogie and 80s R&B heads he’s enshrined in the hallowed halls. He’s perhaps best known for his work on Whitney Houston’s “Thinking About You,” Evelyn Champagne King’s “I’m in Love,” and “Love Come Down,” and a handful of his own tracks and his work with Howard Johnson (no, not that Howard Johnson). Lately, reworking and sampling Kashif’s work has become very popular, producing a minor hit for Janet Jackson in ‘04, a ubiquitously amazing dancefloor filler by Mark E., and countless excellent selections by the likes of Moon Boots, Bicep and Rayko.

Kashif’s minimal synth bass work is well suited for modern nu disco, getting looped endlessly in a style similar to slowed down French house, or its Chicago forbears. Finland’s Curtis Vodka follows this principle closely in his re-edit of Howard Johnson’s “So Fine.” Slippery bass grooves chug back and forth as they filter slowly into existence, bringing rise to some choppy guitar and eventually Johnson’s smooth vox. Grab the DL from Curtis Vodka’s soundcloud, this track will serve you well to start up a dancefloor, or soundtrack your cruising into the sunset on your town’s strip.

/// Brian Blackout

March 29

As the weather gets increasingly springy, I dig deep into my Winter music finds and try to find those tracks that had too much of a warm weather feel to be played when I got ‘em. It’s like Spring cleaning. This track is exactly the reason why I go to all this trouble.

Slow It Down, straight outta Glasgow, released this jam to the world last Fall, but as all of our little green pals start unfurling and popping out of the ground, it’s only now that this cut feels right. Similar to Tiger & Woods, Slow It Down specialize in loopy, proto-house edits of 80s R&B and boogie tracks.

Coming at us from the era when Michael, Whitney, and the Jets ruled the airwaves, and possessing that same happy glow that Janet Jackson’s “Escapade” has, Narada Michael Walden’s “Divine Emotions” melds that irrepressible feel good vibe to a throwback boogie bassline. Slow It Down works the grooves of the extended cut for a while before letting a few happy chords to work their way in and finally lets loose with the song’s chorus about midway in. Grab the free download, follow Slow It Down on Soundcloud and pick up the original, within minutes, everyone you know will be telling you to wipe that stupid grin off your face.

/// Brian Blackout

March 20

Last Song Of The Night is a special category for the working DJ. By 4 AM, everyone’s well buzzed and bleary-eyed, seeing things in a bit of a haze, ears burnt from dancing by the speakers too long, throats all frazzled from yelling at the bar. No need to wallop the masses with another banger. The vibe should be a little sweet, even familiar, so Couple Making Out By The Photo Booth don’t get their mojo wrecked and Last Stragglers From Amy’s Birthday can stumble out singing, arms a-twirl, happy and exhausted. But you also need a track with enough oomph to get Sleeping Dude On The Sofa up and out the door, wiping the drool from his cheek as he makes his way to the corner diner to soak up whiskey with some chili fries. This pick should do just fine, a rework of Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Bring on the Dancing Horses” by Aussie lad Luke Foskey, aka Young Edits. It’s a bit nostalgic (wasn’t the original on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack?), with enough thump to get us headed to our next destination- all night diner, bed (our own or someone else’s), or maybe just a walk through the empty, sleeping streets, humming a familiar tune til the sun comes up.

– Spoolwork