During the early 70s, in NYC a small band of explorers worked themselves to the bone to dig up danceable music from whatever sources they could find. Before digital interface, drum machines, sampling and Abelton Live existed, these pioneers did everything they could to distort, extend and manipulate records until they met the energetic demands of their dancers. In clubs like the Sanctuary, Salvation, Better Days, The Loft and Paradise Garage, DJs Larry Levan, Danny Krivit, David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Tee Scott and Tony Humphries built a whole new world, the world of dance music we’ve inherited.
Eventually the scene would be labled ‘disco’ as if it were a single genre. It was far from a homogenous, definable form. It was an amalgam of anything people would dance to: rock, Latin, soul, funk, rhythm and blues. It was simply music you heard in a discothèque, which back then was probably just a darkened loft packed with sweaty gyrating bodies.
It was a small, close-knit world and despite the basic decor of the first disco clubs, something else invariably filled the room: the dancers’ togetherness, their sense of redemption, their feelings of escape from a racist and homophobic reality. ‘More than anything, disco was driven by an underground idea of unity and the manifesto was the music.
So today, International Peace Day, my #musicalbiscuit is the bonafide anthem of the times, “Love Is The Message”.