Color Frolicsome


August 5 2011, Tel Aviv.

It’s been a while since my last post, and this past month has been pretty tough. So, I thought it’s the perfect time to lighten things up. One of my biggest dreams as a musician is to produce a well-crafted Disco album. Some people might raise an eyebrow at this idea, along with some of my other old-school loves. I was born in the peak year of Disco – 1978.

In our home, music wasn’t a big deal, and until I was 13, I didn’t even have a stereo system. I had a portable suitcase record player from the early 1960s, which my father probably got for his Bar Mitzvah. It had been in my room for as long as I can remember. Most of my records were Pop and Rock music from the 1960s, bought by my father when he was a teenager. There were also some children’s music records that my parents bought for us. My parents never listened to music by choice, so they never thought to buy a stereo system. But we did have a radio that was on most of the day.

In the mornings, we woke up to a popular radio show by a famous Israeli actor and presenter. For the rest of the day, the radio was tuned to The Voice of Peace station. About ten years ago, when I worked at the now-closed Tower Records store, a new album came out featuring songs and jingles from The Voice of Peace station. Listening to those old jingles gave me chills and took me back to when I was 5 years old. That’s when I realized why I love Disco so much, even though it has a reputation for being a cheap entertainment genre.

I believe that at least half of The Voice of Peace’s broadcast time was dedicated to Disco and Funk from the 1970s. The basic groove that always played was the first beat of the bass drum, followed by the second beat of the snare and handclaps.

In my Discomat nugget, I focused on this often-maligned genre. I collected some of my favorite tracks, thinking they could show you what good Disco sounds like. Most of these tracks aren’t very well-known or are lesser-known hits. I included some interesting versions of more familiar songs, and I bet some of you will recognize sounds that have been sampled in many newer tracks over the past two decades.

I’m not sure if this is the right place to mention it, but many ‘serious’ musicians who aren’t necessarily mainstream use pure Disco elements in their current music. Personally, I’m especially enthusiastic about the full orchestral arrangements in Disco that can be almost symphonic. There’s a distinctive style, especially with the string sections from that era, likely due to the producers’ and sound engineers’ recording methods. Another thing that’s a treat for the ears is the quality of the musicianship. Even though the songs can be light and sometimes shallow lyrically, musically, they are just excellent.

** UPDATE: the original post/mixtape released in August 2011, I decided to revisit it, found better sources of the tracks and re-created the mix, Hit the PLAY:

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