Mutant Disco #3: Garage Sale
2016 restock. In 1981, when ZE Records first published the vinyl LP Mutant Disco there were only 6tracks on it. In 2003, when I decided to relaunch the label that Michael Zilkha and myself founded in New York in 1978, I transformed this mini album into a double CD with 25 tracks. It was as if Mutant Disco had become a style of its own in which musicians from different cultures and nationalities could find common ground. Between 1978 and 1983 in New York City, music from a wide range of styles developed based on a common denominator -- you could dance to it. The title of "garag"' comes from "Paradise Garage, " the now mythical club at 84 King Street, which was one of the focal points for New York gay and disco culture for 10 years (1977-1987). The turntables were under the magic touch of Larry Levan, one of the pioneers of NY Dance Music that some began calling garage, while his childhood friend Frankie Knuckles did pretty much the same in Chicago where certain people began to call his style House music. Larry Levan also promoted open and eclectic musical sources and many DJs today have drawn inspiration from this. The Sound System at Paradise Garage developed by Larry and Richard Long was reputed to be the best in NY. Many producers would test their mixes on the dance floor at the Garage. Many of the remixes at ZE, especially those by August Darnell were first played at the Garage before being produced. Larry remixed for August and Kid Creole & The Coconuts: 'Something Wrong in Paradise,' which certainly has its place in this third volume of Mutant Disco. In addition to this remix, Garage Sale includes several jewels from the ZE Records' back catalogue: the long play version of the sublime 'Dream Baby Dream' by Suicide; a remix of Alan Vega's 'Outlaw' by August Darnell; 'Techno-Freaks' by Junie Morrison, founding member of Funkadelic who brought out an excellent album, 'Evacuate Your Seats,' on ZE in 1983; a mix by Don Was of 'What's a Girl to Do' by Cristina. Don was also involved in the production of 'Dance or Die' by Sweet Pea Atkinson from his solo album Don't Walk Away (ZE Records 1982). Also present are 'Man Vs The Empire Brain Building' from the second album by Was (Not Was) for ZE in 1982, "Born to Laugh at Tornadoes" and "Read My Lips," another production by the Was (not) brothers under the pseudonym of 'A Thousand Points Of Night.' There is also the underground classic 'He's The Groove' by Snuky Tate, released on ZE in 1979 as a single and 12" single, plus the classic 'No Time to Stop Believing in Love', by Daisy Chain, in the international version. There are two excellent tracks from Ron Rogers, a very active member of the ZE dream team in the early 80s. Ron also took part in the sessions with Aural Exciters, Bob Blank's After Hours Party Band, with 'Maladie d'Amour.' As Kevin Pearce wrote in the liner notes to Mutant Disco Volume 1 & 2: "Yes, the urge to let our imagination run riot, and the need to dance to twisted sounds remains. The Mutant Disco, the haunted dancehall will never close down.