Boomkat Product Review:
Premo Patrick Cowley porno-disco soundtracks circa 1978. Includes mucky lyric sheet insert
“Honey Soundsystem is proud to present an unreleased disco 12” by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the canon of disco music, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” During the 70s, Patrick was the lighting technician at The City disco in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. This was SF’s largest Gay entertainment complex, where everyone from Grace Jones to Sylvester would perform. Frank Loverde was performing there with his band Loverde when Patrick asked if the band would like to do backups on some songs he’d been working on. Frank, Linda Imperial and Timmy went to Patrick’s studio and laid down vocals for songs, most of which were never released and remained buried in the Megatone vaults.
In 2007 Honey Soundsystem was contacted by the former owner of Megatone Records John Hedges. Hedges’ was moving to Palm Springs and invited us over to his basement to collect over 2,000 records from his collection. Among the archives we noticed three moldy boxes of quarter inch reel to reel tapes. Included was the final mixed down reel for “Kickin’ In”, an epic 12-minute journey through disco, that Patrick recorded with Loverde in 1978. From the two minute plus drum solo that builds up to the introduction of a bouncing arpeggiated Prophet IV and the harmonized vocals, all transport the listener to another realm. The song encapsulates the Hi-NRG dance music that Patrick became known for. It was an “up” sound for the gay disco scene, music that would compliment and sometimes enhance all night dancing. On the flip are two earlier songs produced between 1975-77 featuring basslines by college classmate and studio mate Maurice Tani. Both songs feature Patrick narrating erotic gay sex fantasies inspired by San Francisco’s leather bars, back rooms and bathhouses. These songs show the sleazy side of Cowley’s slow burning, oozing electronic creations with layers and layers of synthesizer, guitar, drum machine and vocoder.
All songs have been mastered by George Horn, who originally mastered all of the Megatone Records releases at Fantasy Studios. Each 12” comes housed in our custom Honey Soundsystem die-cut jacket featuring an illustration of the San Francisco skyline. Also included is a 8 inch square postcard of the original “Kickin’ In” reel to reel box with Patrick’s handwriting on the front and lyrics on the back. “Patrick parted the veil and entered a dark world of forbidden vices, wondrous musical panoramas and bold, strident, hopeful possibilities. Patrick brought the future to us and laid it at our feet.” – David Diebold ’Tribal Rites’”