Boomkat Product Review:
Joey Negro & Sean P’s pivotal ‘Disco Not Disco’ compilation resurfaces on Strut CD nearly 20 years since it laid out the label’s stall and influenced countless DJs, dancers and producers in its wake.
Cutting across the face of NYC disco’s leftfield denominations and experimentalists between the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, ‘Disco Not Disco’ was, and still is, prized for pulling together a load of all-time classics which, in 2000, weren’t so readily available to the eager listener or dancer. It arrived at a really weird time in dance music when, beyond UK garage and 2-step or its cousin U.S. R&B, innovation was short on the ground, and it’s fair to say that compilations of vintage, “leftfield” gear such as this and the likes of Gomma’s crankier ‘Anti NY’ set would supply necessary inspiration and a license to groove weirder, freakier.
Running down from the John Lennon-produced Yoko Ono ace ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ thru the likes of Ian Dury’s anthem ‘Spasticus Autisticus (Version)’ to a number of Arthur Russell zingers as Loose Joints, Dinosaur L, and Indian Ocean, via Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ touchstone and Bill Laswell and co’s funky turn as Material, the set is evidently not short on big names. But it’s maybe fair to say that many of them have really seen a reappraisal or renewed interest after the release of this set, which was stocked in practically every indie record shop and even the high street stores back then. As a party-starting collection for entry-level connoisseurs and suave but lazy types, this one’s an education.