Love Saves The Day

Let’s keep dancing but today with a tinge of sadness. It was announced on Monday that David Mancuso has died aged 72. Mancuso is something of a legend. As a dj in New York in the 1970s he created invite only parties that mutated into The Loft, the spiritual home of NY disco. His ‘anything goes as long as you can dance to it’ attitude to his selections, his nights as a haven for the ‘disaffected and disenfranchised’ of New York, his state of the art sound system, his belief that mixing spoilt the purity of the records (he would play the whole song, leave a brief gap and then play another), his view of djing as creating a mood, a scene, taking the dancers on a journey- all hugely influential. And yet he still took the view that the dj should not be put on a pedestal, that the record selector was just one part of the party.

Musically he stretched far beyond disco, playing whatever records he found that made people dance. These two songs became alternative anthems due him championing them…

The Mexican by Babe Ruth.

Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango.

Advertisements

The Mexican

Babe Ruth’s The Mexican is one of the most exciting tracks you’ll chance upon. Made in 1972 it has funk, drama, Latin guitars and fuzzed up guitars, pumping bass and hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck vocals. It was also instrumental in the birth of hip-hop in New York, played by DJ Kool Herc and sampled by Afrika Bambaataa (amongst others) and part of the anything goes street culture of late 70s and early 80s NY. It is also perfect for waking up the neighbours on Saturday morning.

Strange then that Babe Ruth were a rock band from Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

The Mexican