Two other perennial favorites are “Hey Boy” by Tammy Lucas and “Nobody’s Business” by Billie.
Jarvis is exemplary in the proto-house tradition.
Dance of the Peacock by Chechen actor/dancer Makhmud Esambayev is a clip which is currently doing the rounds on Facebook.
It intrigued me because of its kitschiness and I decided to investigate.
It did not take long to figure out that the soundtrack to which Esambayev is dancing, is a cover of the theme of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Sergio Leone. It has a drum break which is not in the original.
It took me more than an hour to find the original film the clip was taken from.
First I found a version with a little bit more footage at the beginning (below).
For a while I thought it came from a children’s movie and I scrubbed through two. These were actually quite nice.
Then, by machine translating the Russian Wikipedia page of Esambayev I found out that the clip comes from a film called Dances of the Peoples of the World (above) in which the Chechen dancer performs a huge number of various dances: “Chaban” (Chechen-Ingush, Uzbek), “Warrior” (Bashkir), “Golden God” (Indian), ritual “Dance of Fire” to the music of de Falla, “La Corrida” (Spanish ) and “Dance with knives” (Tajik)”.
When someone this young dies suddenly, I always think: suicide.
He scored a solo hit in 1984 with “Don’t Look Any Further” (day-o day-o, mombajee ai-o!), the video of which [above] is in the top ten of worst videos ever. Just watching it fills you with vicarious shame.
For the jaded and tired among us, it’s a good thing to listen to “City Lights” by William Pitt [above], which rips the bassline and chord structure.
The first well-known sample of the song’s distinctive bassline is in Eric B. & Rakim’s 1987 single “Paid in Full” [above].
P.S. The train footage in the clip of “Big New Prinz” is an example of slow television.
Above is “African Secret Society”, a 1974 composition by Masekela, soft, breezy and jazzy (and I love the idea of an African secret society).
Also [above] a recent find I discovered after France Gall’s death, “Umqokozo (Children’s Game Song About A New Red Dress)“, a song French musician Serge Gainsbourg used without credit as “Pauvre Lola” and on which you can hear Masekela playing at 0:55.
I want to read Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.
In 2010, this lecture crystallized as the book Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.
On the cover is a detail of «Soplones», nº 48 of Goya series Los Caprichos.
It is a book about listening, the way sound is portrayed in painting and other “silent arts”, about arts that involve sound, about the resonance of architecture, about auditory artefacts and about self-reflexivity.
Michaelangelo Matos called it “an exploration of sound in novels, poems, and paintings from before the era of sound reproduction.”
Threaded through the book is Marcel Duchamp’s observation “One can look at seeing but one can’t hear hearing” and his concept of the infrathin, those human experiences so fugitive that they exist only in the imaginative absences of perception.
A certain Guilherme Werneck has made a pinterest board consisting of a “visual guide” to Sinister Resonance.
Toop’s magnum opus is Ocean of Sound.
See also my current research on medium specificity.
Disco started in small nightclubs in American urban centers in the early seventies with imported records such as “Soul Makossa.” During the 1970s disco steadily increased in popularity reaching a high point with Saturday Night Fever in 1977.
This was followed with a homophobic, racist backlash two years later when rock music fans started to consider disco culture — with its perceived drug-fuelled sexual promiscuity — silly and effeminate, and objected to the idea of centering music around an electronic drum beat and synthesizers instead of live performers.
Nile Rodgers, guitarist for the popular disco era group Chic said “It felt to us like Nazi book-burning, This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word ‘disco’.”
There was never a focused backlash against disco in Europe.
Now, for the first time on this blog: local news coverage of this Dionysian moment.