At the end of each day I sit down to watch some TV with my kids before bed. Up here in the mountains we`re prisoners of on-line services, so we boot-up Netflix. To be presented with a wall of dark choices. Vampires, zombies, demonic possessions. Torture, abduction. Dysfunctional superheroes, dystopian futures. Bent coppers, True Detectives. American Horror Stories. Fargo. The Missing. Ozark. Narcos. Black Mirrors. Anti-heroes. Turn on the telly and it`s gore and depictions of the baser elements of human nature. Infidelity, blood, drugs and despair. What passes for entertainment would have you believe we are all liars, cheats and murderers. Late one night I sat up alone scrolling through it all. Finding no chink in its armour. Wondering just when did the Horror genre become so popular? And where is the fucking joy?
In stark contrast to this televisual mood altering / brainwashing, my inbox at the moment is full of bright, shiny, mirrorball-lit Disco reissues. Rainbows of multicoloured folks singing about alternate wonderful lives, and asking, “Could Heaven ever be like this?” Opulent orchestras of strings, horns and divas. Choirs of harmony. Synths in crescendo. Guitar licks. Brass punches. Bongos. Congas. 1000 fingered men. Anthems from The Loft, Paradise Garage, and Shelter. Steppers. Nuyorican ritmos. Latino struts and hustles. Cubans keeping time on cowbell. Everybody, but everybody, clapping. Arrangements that soar. So emotionally charged that it`s impossible not to move or be moved. Stadium Soul aquarian dreaming / preaching of idyllic lands of make believe. Of an everlasting liberty. Names like Patrick Adams, Leroy Burgess, Norman Connors, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead. Favourites of Ashley Beedle, Joe Claussell, Francois Kevorkian, Danny Krivit, Dave Lee, Larry levan, David Mancuso, Sean P. Walter Gibbons stripping Gladys Knight bare before throwing everything back at her. Peaking ecstatically. Positive lyrics that fly high on hope. Music pumped up on optimism.
Is that we`re too sophisticated now? Too cynical? Or are we still capable of bursting into Technicolor song a la LA LA Land or a Baz Luhrmann production? The Walking Dead. Happiness Is Just Around The Bend. Both escapism. Both fantasy. But I know which one I`d choose.
All of these classics – samples from which at least should be familiar to anyone who`s visited a club in the last 30 years – will be released as legit 12s over the next month or so.