Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 17: Philly Soul / Philly Disco

So back in the 1960s you had Soul music—a terribly vague term encompassing a lot of things, but a designation that still gets used nonetheless. The industry was pretty fragmented during this pre-internet era, and pretty much every major city with a sizeable African-American population—Detroit, Memphis, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.—had a distinct local scene and sound. Philadelphia was no exception.

The Philly sound, pioneered by songwriter/producers like Thom Bell, Norman Harris, Ron Baker, Gamble & Huff, and McFadden & Whitehead, really came into its own in the mid-late 1960s, and was a marked contrast to the Motown sound that had typified the previous decade. Philly soul was more mature, more lyrically complex, less saccharine, and a lot bigger: horn sections, string sections, and even full-on orchestras took a front-and-center role in the Philly sound.

Philly continued to dominate soul music into the 1970s, giving the world acts like Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, The Delfonics, and The O'Jays. Around 1974, Philly producers started moving in a more dance-oriented direction; beefing up the kick drum in their records, focusing more on the bass line, and creating longer songs geared for the dancefloor. This was the birth of disco.

As the rest of the world moved on, inventing countless good and bad disco sub-genres, Philly kept its distinctive sound: pulsating, dancefloor-friendly records driven by big bass and lush string arrangements. This week's mixtape is a two-parter: a side of the earlier soul stuff, followed up by a good chunk of proper classic Philly disco.

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 17, Side A: Philly Soul

  1. The Delfonics; Seventeen And In Love (Philly Groove)
  2. The O'Jays; Back Stabbers (Philadelphia International)
  3. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes feat. Teddy Pendergrass; Where Are All My Friends (Philadelphia International)
  4. Love Committee; One Day Of Peace (Golden Fleece)
  5. The Stylistics; People Make The World Go Round (Avco)
  6. The Delfonics; Round & Round (Philly Groove)
  7. First Choice; One Step Away (Philly Groove)
  8. Gloria Gaynor; Searchin' (Tom Moulton Mix) (MGM)
  9. Blue Magic; Welcome To The Club (ATCO)
  10. The Invitations; Living Together Is Keeping Us Apart (Silver Blue)
  11. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes feat.Teddy Pendergrass; Nobody Could Take Your Place (Philadelphia International)
  12. Ecstasy, Passion, & Pain; Good Things Don't Last Forever (Roulette)
  13. The Three Degrees; Long Lost Lover (Philadelphia International)
  14. First Choice; Armed & Extremely Dangerous (Philly Groove)
Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 17, Side B: Philly Disco
  1. Double Exposure; Everyman (Danny Krivit Re-Edit) (Salsoul / Strut)
  2. People's Choice; Do It Any Way You Wanna (Philadelphia International)
  3. McFadden & Whitehead; Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (Philadelphia International)
  4. First Choice; Love Thang (Tee Scott Mix) (Gold Mind Records)
  5. Double Exposure; My Love Is Free (Tom Moulton Mix) (Salsoul)
  6. Ecstasy, Passion, & Pain feat. Barbara Roy; Touch & Go (Tom Moulton Mix) (Roulette)
  7. First Choice; Double Cross (Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro Mix) (Gold Mind Records)
  8. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes feat. Teddy Pendergrass; Bad Luck (Philadelphia International)
  9. The Trammps; Can We Come Together (Tom Moulton Mix) (Atlantic)
  10. MFSB; Love Is The Message (Larry Levan Re-Edit) (Philadelphia International)
  11. First Choice; Let No Man Put Asunder (Shep Pettibone Mix) (Salsoul)
  12. The Trammps; Body Contact Contract (Tom Moulton Mix) (Atlantic)
  13. Blue Magic; We're On The Right Track (ATCO)
  14. Direct Current; Nothing Can Stop Us (TEC)
  15. Billy Paul; Only The Strong Survive (Philadelphia International)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 16: Hardstep

My buddy kyleklip (who you may remember as the dude who requested the New Jack Swing tape) asked me for a hardstep tape, so here is a hardstep tape.

Well back in the early-mid 1990s you had this thing called Jungle (I know I'm going way slow but some people have catching up to do). It was a sped-up british rave subgenre revolving around heavy bass, lots of reggae & hip hop influence, and a ton of really intricate drum programming—taking a drum loop, chopping it up, and rearranging it into infinite different permutations. Super-fun and energetic, but all that variation in the drums made it a bit of a daunting dance style to the uninitiated.

DJs picked up on the fact that this stuff could be tricky to dance to; by 1995 you had some people streamlining those drums to make something a little more dancefloor-friendly. They preserved the heavy bass, amped up the hip hop influence, and streamlined the classic jungle drumwork to something a little more danceable without completely homogenizing or sanitizing it (that would happen later). They called it hardstep (among other things), and it lasted from about 1995-1999. I really love this era of stuff, so when Kyle suggested the mix I couldn't resist. Here goes!

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 16: Hardstep

  1. Rude Bwoy Monty; Warp 9 Mr. Zulu (Heavyweight Mix) (Ganja)
  2. Remarc; Single Finga Killa (Suburban Base)
  3. Pharoahe Monch; Simon Says (Roni Size & DJ Die Remix) (Rawkus)
  4. DJ Zinc; So Damn Fresh (Remix) (Ganja)
  5. Evil vol. III; Mad Real (white)
  6. DJ Dextrous; This Situation (Subversive Records)
  7. Dr. Octagon; Blue Flowers (DJ Hype Remix) (Mo'Wax)
  8. DJ Krome & Mr. Time; Hip Hop Ride (Tearin' Vinyl)
  9. Shy FX; Bambaataa (Funksta Revisited) (Ebony)
  10. Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott; Beep Me 911 (Ganja Kru Remix) (EastWest)
  11. Wosh & King Tut; Throat (Joker Records)
  12. DJ Phantasy; .44 Mag (Easy Records)
  13. DJ Zinc feat. MC GQ; Bring The Danger (Tru Playaz)
  14. Prisoners of Technology; Trick of Technology (Fresh Kutt)
  15. The Fugees; Ready or Not (DJ Zinc Remix) (white)
  16. Capone; Massive (HardLeaders)
  17. Timebase; War Zone (Tearin' Vinyl)
  18. Dillinja; Muthafucka (Fire Fox Relick) (Philly Blunt)
  19. DJ Hype; On That Dust (Regulators Remix by Dextrous & Teebone) (Ganja)
  20. Mos Def; Universal Magnetic (IQ Collective Remix) (Rawkus / Trouble on Vinyl)
  21. Mental Power; Deep Soul (Formation)
  22. Dred Bass feat. The JB; World Of Music (Remix) (Back II Basics)
  23. The Dream Team; Scandalize (Joker Records)
  24. DJ Zinc; It's Like Dat (Remix) (Frontline)
  25. Aphrodite; Woman That Rolls (Urban Takeover)
  26. DJ Rap; Hardstep (Proper Talent)
NEXT WEEK: Philly Soul / Philly Disco.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week 15: Belgian Rave, 1991

Here's the promised follow-up to the 1991 UK Rave tape from a few weeks back: a tape of 1991 rave classics from Belgium (with a couple of tunes from the Netherlands thrown in for good measure). Although the states invented techno and the UK invented raving, Belgium was really where Europe's electronic dance music scene as we know it first kicked off. The Belgians have a rich history of electronic dance music, starting with a big hi-NRG scene and experimental bands like Telex, then continuing on to EBM & New Beat (which I will get to later in the year—in the meantime find some more info here and here).

Anyway, suffice it to say that the Belgians were early adopters of American house & techno, and they really ran with it, creating a distinctive sound and style long before the British managed to. As in England, however, 1991-1992 were really the prime years for Belgian techno. So here's a tape!

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 15: 1991 Belgian Rave Tunes

  1. Digital Orgasm; Moog Eruption (Trance Mission)
  2. Daydreamer; Happy Dreams (Dance Opera)
  3. The Outlander; Vamp (R&S Records)
  4. Channel X; Double Defused (Beat Box International)
  5. Automaton; Inside Your Mind (R&S Records)
  6. EDC; No Pills (Tink!)
  7. Air of Gloom; Meditation (Astro Mix) (Beat Box International)
  8. Code Red; In Your Dreams (Chrissy Re-Edit) (Mental Radio)
  9. Human Resource; Dominator (Frank De Wulf Mix #2) (R&S Records)
  10. R.T.Z. Belgium; Dance Your Ass Off (Chrissy Instrumental Edit) (Decadance)
  11. Ottorongo; Five O'Clock My Ass (Holy Hole Music)
  12. Channel X; Groove To Move (Instrumental) (Beat Box International)
  13. 2 Unlimited; Get Ready For This (Orchestral Mix) (Byte Records)
  14. Set Up System; Fairy Dust (Big Time International)
  15. Laura D; Be Allright (Music Man)
  16. Praga Khan; Rave Alarm (Underground Mix) (Beat Box International)
  17. Fun Lab; Wave (Trance Mission)
  18. CJ Bolland presents Ravesignal III; Mindwar (R&S Records)
  19. Plexus; Cactus Rhythm (DiKi Records)
  20. Rave Crusader; World Destiny (Flying Piano Mix) (Beat Box International)
  21. Master Minds; E.M.F. (Mackenzie)
  22. Meng Syndicate; Sonar System (Music Man)
  23. Lords of Acid; Take Control (Complete Kaos)
  24. Angel Ice; Je N'aime Que Toi (Love Mix) (Beat Box International)
  25. The Mackenzie; Cyclotron (Atomic Kick) (Mackenzie)
  26. Neon; Waves (Techno Mix) (Rave 55)
  27. Frequency; Kiss The Sky (Lower East Side Records)
NEXT WEEK: Hardstep.