Saturday, 12 September 2009

Larry Levan: Live At The Paradise Garage. 1979.

Larry Levan - Paradise Garage CD Pictures, Images and Photos

Righty-O then, up till now the mixes we've posted this week have taken in everything from Northern Soul, Rare Groove, Electro, Techno and Nu Wave, now it's time for another of my favourite collections with this excellent mix of Soul and Disco.
The late Larry Levan ruled New York City's mythic Garage for 11 years until it closed in 1987, and this handsome collection nails down one night of Garage vibes as well as anything I've heard.
'Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage', recorded in 1979, is a rare document of the man himself and some vintage disco tracks. A lot of modern clubbers will be surprised to hear the amount of vocals, horns, strings, rough-cut segues — and miles more soul than most of the faceless, airbrushed tech-house that dominates today's clubs and mix CD's.
As the name suggests, the mix was recorded live at the New York club in 1979 and as far as I'm aware, this is the only official mix that has been made commercially available and is absolutely essential for anyone interested in the disco/house music and nightclub scene of this time. The mix was initially produced for those that had the pleasure of living the garage. They were black, white, straight, gay and everything in between. The people who made the paradise garage the legend it came to be today. But at the same time this mix is also for those who could not experience the music, energy & the magic. So there you have it a piece of musical history for you to enjoy again & again.
Levan was one of the resident DJ's at The Garage and at one time or another during the 1970s and ’80s was also the host at the Loft, Studio 54, and Better Days along with other clubs in the Manhattan area along with being the Friday night DJ at Club Zanzibar in Newark for a some time.
'Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage' is a 92 minute tape of a mix recorded live at the Garage in the Winter of '79. The set is divided over two CD's and was put out by Levan’s mother and Mel Cheren who was one of the few record company executives to tune in to the underground dance scene long before it was commercialised to death as disco in the late 1970s and he played a number of important roles in getting dance music recorded. He was also one of the primary financial backers of the Paradise Garage and as such was instrumental in getting the club off the ground.
People sometimes complain about collections devoted to famous DJs or dance clubs because they don’t capture what it was really like to have been there, in part because they have breaks between songs which were mixed to be a continuous stream of music in the club. 'Live at the Paradise Garage' solves this problem and Levan’s extended breaks and connections between tracks are the most interesting part of the set.
What Levan and the other great DJs of the time like David Mancuso and Nicky Siano excelled at was communicating with the dancers in a two-way conversation that turned the music/dance amalgam into a creative experience equally shared by DJ and dancers. The sequence of songs, the way intros and breaks were extended or not, the EQ settings for particular songs were all manipulated on the fly by the DJ to produce the desired effect at the moment. Songs would be played again and again but they wouldn’t be played the same way each time because the mood on the dancefloor would be different from one time to the next. It was about the right here and right now and that experience can almost be tasted here.

Larry Levan Pictures, Images and Photos

Side 1.

1. Bourgie Bourgie * Ashford & Simpson
2. It’s Music * Damon Harris
3. At Midnight * T Connection
4. Put Your Body In It * Stephanie Mills
5. Dreaming A Dream * Crown Heights Affair
6. By The Way You Dance * Bunny Sigler
7. Right In The Socket * Shalamar
8. Take Me Home * Cher
9. Pick Me Up I’ll Dance * Melba Moore
10. Funk Train * Munich Machine
11. Here We Go Again * People’s Choice

Side 2.

1. Here We Go Again * People’s Choice
2. Bad Mouthin’ * Motown Sounds
3. Let Yourself Go * Supremes
4. Angel In My Pocket * Change
5. Smack Dab In The Middle * Janice McClain
6. Sun...Sun...Sun * Jakki
7. Trinidad * John Gibbs and the U.S. Steel Band
8. My First Mistake * Chilites
9. Erucu * Jermaine Jackson

Download: Larry Levan. Live At The Paradise Garage. 1979. Side 1.

Download: Larry Levan. Live At The Paradise Garage. 1979. Side 2.

Till next time.
Big Love. Moogar. X.

2 comments:

Krippa said...

Great great great. I went to pay my respects with a visit to the now defuct Garage while in NY last week. Place still looks amazing from the outside.

Moogar said...

Cush mate. Yee must spend more time there than you do in town these days.
Not that I'm at all envious though.