The Dark Side

Here are a couple of cool cuts from 1984. 1984 was an interesting year for music. The boogie greatness of 1982 was fizzling out, electro was king, and house was just getting started. These tracks highlight where genres converged and coalesced into some strange hybrids.

This first track by Zero Hour shows a lot of electro influence and can easily pass as a theme song for the oft overlooked comedy masterpiece Fletch Lives. Seems like it could have been produced by Herbie Hancock or Jan Hammer with a little help from Egyptian Lover.

The next track by Leon Love is an odd bird produced by proto house legend Patrick Adams with Ron Mindseed. It sounds a bit like electro coming dangerously close to Hi-NRG territory. Almost too close; but us in the Bay Area have a very low threshold for it.

Zero Hour - The Dark Side (Dub)
Leon Love - Once Is Enough (Dub)


We've covered Maurizio Sangineto's productions before on this site. Firefly was a dance music group composed of fellow Italians and released four LPs during their career. This track was a big tune at the Garage. The uplifting vocals get me every time. I also really like the brave use of some dynamic range in this 12" mix. It is rare to hear jams like this with such an impact when the beat comes in after the breakdown.

Firefly - Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Side)

Handsome Man

Carol Shinnette put records out on Oakland's 'Optune' label. Don't ever call the 415 number printed on the front of her 7" sleeves, as the gentleman on the other end of the line will threaten to kill you. This B.E have learned the hard way.

Although the record is claiming our hometown, it turns out it was actually produced in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where Carol still resides to this day.

Carol Shinnette - Handsome Man

She's A Party Girl

A younger and hipper DJ friend whose taste I admire bought a bunch of records and played me a couple from his haul that he thought I would like. One was a weird, left field, boogie proto rap type edit by a producer that he was into. I recognized it, and took smug, nauseating, sad dickhead like pleasure in telling him that I owned a copy of the original record that the edit was sourced from, but for the life of me couldn't remember what it was called, so I asked him to tell me the name and artist of the track but he couldn't, because whomever had done the edit had stuck his own name all over it and obscured that of the original artist. We then had an animated discussion as to the ethics of this sort of thing. I own plenty of bootlegs, and sometimes you simply can't find the original artists behind some of these more obscure records but none the less they deserve a repress for more people to play out and enjoy, there isn't much money in these short vinyl runs anyway, but can you really take the original artist's name off the track (I think it was obscured down to a two letter initial in this case) and stick yours on simply because you extended the drum intro? Perhaps the guy didn't want anyone to know the OG cut's name but why the secrecy? I see it a lot, it just seems like an exploitative way to prop up your own brand. I mean, you don't have to pay the guy who made the song that you looped up, but at least leave his name on there alongside yours.

Anyway, I went through my shelves and found it. Terrance Tee seems to have produced a couple of known early rap and boogie 45's that I have seen in auction lots etc, but this 12" doesn't seem to be listed anywhere. It came out on 'New York Town Records' and was written by Terrance Moore (no doubt Terrance Tee himself) and produced by T. Marcini. I cannot find anything on either of these people.

My copy is signed in scribbled pen "To Terri, From the M.C, Terrance Tee" . Terri, wherever you are, thank you for getting rid of this weird, weird record.

Terrance Tee - She's A Party Girl (Vocal)
Terrance Tee - She's A Party Girl (Instrumental)

I Wanna Feel Your Love

Here is a great disco boogie jam produced in part by drummer Howard King. He was a member of Mtume's band and also contributed to some great LPs from Gary Bartz, D-Train, Eddie Henderson, and Stephanie Mills. This tune has pretty amazing breakdown and is just great soulful dance music start to finish. Definitely a sleeper and a kinda tough pull from the RCA disco 12" catalog.

Candy Bowman - I Wanna Feel Your Love

Digital Dj'ing - Using a Laptop or PC as part of your Mobile Disco

Many Mobile Discos have made the change from a conventional CD or Vinyl based system to a software based one, usually running on either a full sized pc or a laptop. The fundamentals of both systems are largely the same, and so you shouldn't simply be taken in by reading other DJs horror stories about how their laptop overheated during the first dance at a Wedding or how their full sized PCs power supply exploded halfway through a gig. There are pros and cons of using both systems, but largely whether to use a full size pc or a laptop comes down to personal choice, practicality, budget and space, and you'll often find that DJ's criticising the opposite machine, have never actually used the system that they are criticising!. If possible visit a DJ who already uses a system to that which you intend to use yourself, nothing can sell an idea better than actually seeing it in use!, for the record, I have watched Mobile DJ's use both PC's and Laptops to DJ from, and neither, in my opinion, was more reliable or better than the other, so it should only be personal choice, rather than rumour or scaremongering which makes the decision on that score!.

Is running a Mobile Disco from a PC or Laptop reliable?

Anybody who has ever encountered the windows blue screen of death, or worn out the Ctrl+alt+del keys on their keyboard will possibly dread the thought of using such a system as a platform to their DJ'ing!. In essence, a decent dedicated pc or laptop with a clean install, good quality hard drive and a reasonable amount of memory will out preform most typical home pc set ups which may be running several applications at a time, be infiltrated with virus or spyware traces, and have a hard drive and registry full of corrupt enteries and partly uninstalled files.

Give Your New Year's Party Some Style With Disco Balls

They are round, shiny, and fun no matter what their size or color- they are disco balls. Any party becomes more fun when these are displayed. New Year's is the time for celebration, so consider adding these to the party decoration list. Whether they are stationary or rotating, the light bouncing off them adds pizzazz to the celebration.

New Year's parties are always better when they have a theme, so consider a disco-era theme and have everyone dress in period attire. Party goers will be decked out in their bell-bottoms, stacked heels, psychedelic shirts, and some very interesting hairstyles. Why waste money on a rental when you can spend the same amount, or less, to purchase a brand new ball.

A silver mirrored ball is the traditional style and sizes range from four to 16 inches. Add a few of these to the dance floor and get a turning motor so the ball will continuously spin. There is nothing cooler than a rotating disco ball paired with different color spot lights shining on the dance floor while everyone gets a groove on to the disco tunes.

Get Your Walls Spinning With a Disco Mirror Ball

More than just your walls will spin if you set up a disco mirror ball at your next gig.

A disco mirror ball is nothing more than a finely constructed ball of hundreds or even thousands of facets, most being of the same size, with each sporting a mirror finish.

It is normally located above the heads of the party goers present. It is in turn suspended from a device that causes it to turn steadily on a vertical axis and lit up by spotlights.

People present experience broken beams of colored light, coming from the spotlights, which are reflected off of it spinning around the room, causing an exciting visual effect.

Although many people today think of the disco mirror ball as a recent introduction to entertainment, it was in fact first used in 1919 by American jazz musicians to brighten up the atmosphere at their jazz concerts.

The Prep

Here is a late Christmas present. If my theory is true, and this is the only Minnesota disco rap ever recorded, then it also holds true that it is also the best one. To my ear its one of my top 5 disco raps of all time, the 1980 style party delivery with the 1985 era instrumentation make it unique. Sir Nature Alexander was a transplant to Minneapolis from Atlanta and became a well known fixture of the local music entertainment scene, most notably as the city's best breakdance instructor, going on to host his own show on local TV, and also working as a singer and producer on the Minneapolis funk circuit.

Sir Nature has a rare 1986 solo album with more of a contemporary for the time Minneapolis scene sound, but I don't own it sadly. He has been producing records constantly up and to this day, now more in the vein of Southern soul styled r'n'b, you can find Sir Nature Alexander current work here:

And you can find the first ever(?) rip of his electro masterpiece here:

Nature - The Prep


The Bell family from Youngston, Ohio produced three brothers who made immense contributions to the jazz/disco/funk scene in the 70s and 80s. Robert and Ronald Bell formed a group The Jazziacs that eventually became Kool & The Gang. Kevin Bell, also known by his Arabic name Amir Bayyan, formed Kool protege group The Kay Gees. Kevin was a prolific musician and producer, also playing in the group Forecast and producing jams for Armenta, LaToya Jackson, Tomorrow's Edition, and Jimmy Cliff. Here is one of his tight one-off tracks under the name Candela released in 1982 and mastered by Herb Powers Jr.

Candela - Love You Madly (extended version)