Saturday, February 7, 2009

Various Artsists - Disco Not Disco: Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics (1974-1986)

When you stop and reflect for a while you start to realise that this era in music was kind of farked up. You had punk rockers at one end of the spectrum, disco balls, roller discos at the other, and the emergence of electro and breakdance somewhere else. For a compilation to claim that they have harnessed all 3 and that there was an actual scene around it is indeed a bold call. Perhaps a call too far I'd say, but if you think of the genres as simply a backdrop then I can see how some bands and artists were influenced in different ways. This is a cool to have, and the highlight for me is Material - Don't Lose Control.


1. Vivien Goldman - Launderette (3:47)
2. Delta 5 - Mind Your Own Business (3:13)
3. Shriekback - My Spine Is The Bassline (1982 12" Edit) (4:02)
4. Konk - Your Life (7:25)
5. Isotope - Crunch Cake (3:55)
6. James White & The Blacks - Contort Yourself (August Darnell Remix) (6:15)
7. Quando Quango - Love Tempo (Remix) (7:55)
8. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Seoul Music (4:47)
9. Material - Don't Lose Control (4:19)
10. Kazino - Binary (3:57)
11. Liaisons Dangereuses - Los Niños Del Parque (12" Mix) (5:04)
12. A Number Of Names - Sharevari (Instrumental) (6:18)
13. Six Sed Red - Beat 'Em Right (6:24)
14. Maximum Joy - Silent Street / Silent Dub (7:42)

Download @ 320kbps - Part 1
Download @ 320kbps - Part 2


  1. I'm not sure if there was an actual "scene around it" as you say, that seems like a stretch. Growing up near Detroit, however, I basically transitioned from a disco-loving pre-teen to a new-wavish teenager, mainly because that's the transition the radio station we listened to made.

    In the early 80s that station began to mix new-wavy tunes into their disco-based playlist, perhaps because they smelled the shifting winds as one genre was ready to explode and one was on it's last legs. It would be common to hear the B-52s or Devo followed by Chic or some other disco icon. I'm sure stations all over the place did that. eventually the station adopted a new-wave only play list. This was a really big deal at the time, but Detroit was actually an important mid-western music/radio center back then (unlike now).

    I'm not quite convinced there was much disco/punk mixing, but at a certain level, new wave WAS ALREADY a mixing of punk and disco. If New Wave was a form of "diluted" punk, then what it was diluted with was dance beats. At that time it wasn't all so "solidified" into opposing camps, it was really all just dance music.

    If you look at old Disco Charts from the early 80s you find, say, Yazoo sitting right beside say, Evelyn Champagne King. I'm sure in a much hipper place like New York, there was all kinds of cross pollenization.

    It can't be a coincidence that you get space disco on the one hand, and all those spaced-out new wave synthesizer songs on the other. They aren't creating music in a vacuum.

    The tunes on this CD are really just the more experimental punk- and new wave-leaning ones (you should get the whole series if you can.)

    Anyway, this is what I remember. I hope it illuminated something.

  2. Cheers for your insight. Very much appreciated.

    I grew up far from Detroit in New Zealand. I remember the era very well, and what you say around Evelyn King next to Yazoo is very true.

    I do remember a time when new-wave was a more user-friendly version or diluted punk. It was interesting to me as a young teenager to leave the rock and punk sound laid down by my father and start to drift down the path of electronica, which I found far more interesting. Laurie Anderson through to the early electro releases were played on the tape recorder in my bedroom as Dad wouldn't let it near his stereo! "Computer music isn't real music." he use to say!

    Perhaps I'm just being sentimental but to me it was the golden age of electronic music. Where stereotypes and pigeon holing of music were far more limited than they are now.

    Thanks again.