Dance music, specifically disco, is an important part of the cultural makeup of New York City. In the late 60s/ early 70s, a handful of New York DJs chose a diverse and disparate bunch of songs that eventually grew into what we now know as disco, much the same way DJs in England, Brazil, and the Carolinas conceived of Northern Soul, Samba Rock, and Beach Music, respectively. To the uninitiated, it can be difficult to see what the songs in these different subgenres have in common with each other, because necessity demanded that the pioneering DJs crossed not only genres, but time periods. From the tribal Drums of Passion or Wild Safari to the psychedelic rock of In a Gadda Da Vida or Hold on To Your Mind to the futuristic jazz fusion of Life on Mars to the Caribbean-inflected Rock the Boat, disco music was as diverse and far reaching as the citizens of this great city.
I got my first real start as a DJ here in 1999 at a 3 room club on Bleecker St called Life, where I was unwittingly playing records from the early days of the Loft and the Gallery alongside obscure funk 45s and late 60s bubblegum. In the adjacent (smaller) room was the legendary Body and Soul party, and not really having any context for its significance, I would be a little confused when these older black men would stagger out of there and enthusiastically dance to my set. I understood why they might have known Jimmy Castor's "It's Just Begun", but what was it that got them so excited about Chicago Transit Authority's version of "I'm A Man"?
This was my entree into New York nightlife and the realization that I was involved in an actual cultural phenomenon, something much deeper than I had originally thought.
The real point of this story is that dance music has developed from an underground oddity to a worldwide force, and while there are many great purveyors of this music from far and wide, we thought it would be better to focus on the scene here in New York, the place where it all began.
Following (Black Russian Remix)
The Right One (Tokyo Black Star NYC Remix)
The Written Word (Dee & Kenan's TBA remix)
The Unkown Faces At Father James Park (Eli Escobar Remix)
Shake (DJ Spun Rong Music Remix)
Give (2B.A.N. TwerQ that m**af*** remix)
All Cliches (Dennis Kane Last Exit Remix)
Mirrors (Maxime Remix)
TheRightOne (DJ Still Life Remix)
Following (Tim Love Lee Dub)