Fans of disco, nu disco, dance rock – whatever you call it – pay attention to this hot new release from Visitors entitled “Ledger.” It’s the rare 4/4 groove that sounds so analog and so fucking live that it evokes an era produced before computers dominated the world, (back then we cut tape instead of clicking mice). “Ledger” is all about celebrating a fertile past with a true vision for the future dance floor. This is an authentic and elegantly specific NYC sound.
“Ledger” traverses the spectrum from balearica, to disco to no wave. Featuring an impassioned and iconic vocal from legendary Liquid Liquid front man Sal P, Ledger carves out new ground in the nu-disco landscape. Rising from a hard bass line and haunting acoustic rhythms, the song moves lyrically into a dance groove that builds from the counterpoint of live playing and electronic production. Featuring live guitar, percussion, and keyboard work, the song develops a loft like frenzy as it progresses. Ledger has a lyric that eludes the cliché of the usual dance track filler and recalls the impressionistic notations of Talking Heads “Remain in Light” or Bowie’s “The Lodger”. Ledger takes its place in the realm of thinking man’s disco, think Dinosaur L, Tiger Stripes, or any of the driving No-wave disco jams that used to issue from the downtown alembic.
For the B-Side there is Richard Sen’s (Padded Cell/Bronx Dogs) IRT remix. Long of fav of the Disques Sinthomme crew, Richard’s production work, for his own group Padded Cell (DC records), and his remix work for the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Bryan Ferry and Black Devil Disco Club amongst others, always reflects a specific nocturnal b-boy vibe. For his IRT remix of the track Richard takes the tune on a subway ride, pushing the downtown energy into an uptown Zulu nation throw down. Richard gives the original some serious echo chamber, and a new synth bass line that brings the tracks dance floor appeal front and center.
Dennis “Citizen” Kane, mastermind of the project, is an iconic figure in contemporary dance music culture since his emergence in the mid 90’s NYC downtown scene. Kane has been the co-resident (with Metro Area’s Darshan Jesrani) of the Adult Section party at Cielo since the summer of 2008 and the two also throw the infamous Strobe Lodge parties, loft jams where they and their crew take over a space, bring in their own sound system, and play marathon sets for the faithful and new converts alike. In 1999 Kane released Selects 001 (with Chairman Mao) a mix of rare Northern Soul, boogie, and disco treats. It gained significant critical praise from journals like Urb, The Wire, and LA Weekly, and it was nominated to numerous top 10 lists, including The Village Voice’s. A follow up mix, The Greatest Part (2001) went further into the realms of disco and garnered similar critical praise. In 06 Kane released Adult Section, a solo mix with numerous re-edits, that in its diversity reflects the dynamic range of his live sets. It was named one of the years 10 best by Filter magazine, and cited as an essential disco “must have” by Ocean Drive magazine.
Salvatore Principato was the frontman of legendary New York City post-punk band Liquid Liquid. Considered a neurotic, noisy fusion of Can, Talking Heads and Public Image Ltd, with Latin, reggae and African overtones, their track “Cavern” was sampled (actually played by the Sugar Hill house band) on Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel’s “White Lines (Don’t Do It).” Today Liquid Liquid’s legacy is everywhere. The UK’s hippest club, Glasgow’s “Optimo,” is named after an all-time Liquid Liquid track – a piece of music any DJ would kill to get their hands on as its skitters and twitches its way across the dancefloor. Fellow NYC residents DFA resurrected the uptight downtown funk of Liquid Liquid and contemporaries ESG in their early productions and edits, while today’s vogue for live instruments in ‘balearock’ italo and electro club tracks means Liquid Liquid’s way of doing things has come full circle.
Out Now on 12” Vinyl and digital exclusive @ Juno
Out: June 22 worldwide
Label: Disques Sinthomme
A) “Original Mix”
“Richard Sen IRT Remix”
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.