13.3.13

The Best Of Disco Demands (2011)



The Disco Demands series started sometime in the early 2000s - I couldn't give you an exact year because it didn't feel like a big deal, so I never noted it. I simply wanted to put out a compilation of some records I really liked and maybe make a little of the money back I was spending on them. Buy some food and stuff.

There's always been Disco comps around of course but there was rarely anything that strayed too far from the standards.. the same songs kept appearing over and over again, or the comps would feature records you could pick up anywhere for little money. I've never seen the point in that. I gave up judging a record on its value or rarity a long time ago but surely there's more to disco than Exodus, Martin Circus, Mass Production and all those Salsoul, West End and bloody Prelude records. So it was a nice surprise to find that there were other people out there who thought the same way.

Volume 1 was pretty straightforward - just some nice records, with the only edit being an instrumental of Disco Socks; a strange, thinly veiled reference to the disco sucks movement. Then on Volume 2 I included a few of my edits and introduced the cover up concept to the disco world. That caused a bit of controversy, which of course I loved. And so it continued for five volumes.

What we have here then is the full series, give or take one or two cuts, all remastered, many re-re-edited, with lots of nice naked pictures to boot. For those who've asked since day one "will there be vinyl" I can finally say yes, you're holding it!

In 2005, revered DJ and record collector Al Kent started to compile rare disco tracks, many of which were presented in his re-edited form, with the small-run Disco Demands series, released on his Million Dollar Disco label. The discs are re-circulated here, via the bigger BBE, as a slim five-disc package that contains most of the original series' tracks. Kent's cunning edits, both slight and severe, have a lot to do with his status as Dimitri from Paris' and Joey Negro's favorite DJ. Some serious disco heads might even be brave enough to declare a preference for Kent's version of Arts & Craft's version of "I've Been Searching" over the Walter Gibbons mix, as it's both tighter and tougher, with more emphasis on the clavinet and an elimination of the male vocal part. Only six of the 45 selections -- including the album version of Brooklyn Express' "Back in Time," an homage to Eddie Kendricks' "Girl, You Need a Change of Mind" -- are left untouched. The whole set makes it apparent that Kent doesn't play around and intends to keep limbs and hips in motion at all times. Those who have tired of '70s dancefloor classics and favor the funky and slightly odd will find this to be an embarrassment of riches. --- Andy Kellman