The Pied Piper (PP) is the elusive alias of the UK Record Producer, Arranger, DJ, songwriter, Composer, drummer, percussionist, Mixing & Mastering Engineer, Re-Mixer, editor and multi-instrumentalist that stands behind numerous studio projects and concept releases spanning genres such as: Deep House, Nu-Disco, Disco funk, Disco House, House, Jazz House, Nu-Jazz, Jazz Funk and so much more.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/154283379″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Bottom Forty proudly presents a limited engagement screening of an important snapshot of American dance music history. Love Is The Message – A Night At The Gallery 1977, directed by Nicky Siano, takes the viewer back to the heyday of dance music for one night at New York’s famed club, The Gallery. The film will have just two screenings in Seattle at Northwest Film Forum, June 6 and 7 at 7pm.
This Maze release of “Color Blind” from 1977 was the B-side of a 7”that also appears on their self-titled debut Lp “Maze feat. Frankie Beverly”. The Scratchandsniff guys do simple cuts and paste edits with nothing added to stay true to the original material. The extended guitar lick is definitely true to a smooth steppin’ funky soul groove.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/138542896″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Gloria Lavern Collins, better known as Lyn Collins’ single “Take Me As I Am” gets a subtle re-work from Sweden’s Disco Tech. Released in 1973 Lyn is most famous for her massive hit “Think (About it) also with Godfather of soul Mr. James Brown. This slow space/sleaze groove comes in at a whopping 82bpm, perfect for that last track of the night.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/126347277″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Jack Ashford’s “Hotel Sheet” from 1977 gets a rework from LTJ Experience. I really like these obscure, fresh outta the record crate songs. It’s a what?
It’s a super hyper bluesy funky vibe, y’all. The track certainly has a Norman Whitfield, BT Express vibe to it, which lends itself perfectly for that sleaze/sweat set.
Jack Ashford, known to his friends as Jashford, is an African-American musician, widely known as the percussionist for Motown Records’ in-house Funk Brothers band during the 1960s and early 1970s. Ashford is most famous for playing the tambourine on hundreds of Motown recordings. His definitive performance is on “War” by Edwin Starr; other notable songs. (Wikipedia)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130613629″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Sister Glo Euro N’Weiis an HIV educator and gay men’s health advocate. She is drawn to sparkly objects and believes that glitter and the transformative power of love in action are necessary to gay men’s health and wellness.
We at Bottom Forty are happy to collaborate with Sister Glo on this download which we believe is reflective of the last 30 years of HIV/AIDS and its impact not only on us as individuals but also as a global community. A special shout out too Kurt B. Reighley, WHAM Project, Sister Glo and all our fellow warriors past, present and future.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122416465″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Norma Jean Wright was the first lady of Chic. As a member from the very beginning, she helped to propel the group to the top of the charts with tracks like “Everybody Dance” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.” Then in 1980 her single “High Society” was released on Bearsville Records also produced by Chic. Recently, I stumbled on this edit from Metaphysical who hails from the other Washington, D.C. that is. Enjoy!
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/39855390″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
I spent the better part of the weekend watching music documentaries, one of which was “The Godfather of Disco.” Mel Cheren was a music man at heart and began the seminal dance music label West End Records. West End, who’s tagline was “Where the Sun Sets and the Stars Rise,” was responsible for beginning the 12-inch vinyl single craze which is still the preferred format for many DJs to this day. The 12-inch single allowed artists to release longer versions of their songs with the added benefit of an improved audio signal.
Mel worked with his business partner and former lover, Michael Brody to open the Paradise Garage. The club and his label worked in perfect concert together to catapult the music of the time to it’s current disco status. West End would put out artists like Tanna Gardner which resident Paradise Garage DJ Larry Lavan would play throughout the night, sometime 3 or 4 times in one night. The next day, the enlightened club-goers would scour the city to find these new disco records.
When the AIDS crisis hit in the early 80’s and devastated the gay nightlife scene in New York, Mel gave up his role at West End. He then focused on raising money and awareness around the crisis. He sadly succumbed to the disease in 2007.
The full documentary is available on You Tube to stream. I recommend watching the full documentary with pen and paper at hand. You will want to take notes.
Dubspot reviews conTRAPtion, the new VST-plugin from Polarfoils Industries. ConTRAPtion turns any song into Trap music. For those who don’t already know, Trap is the latest trend in dance music, supplanting dubstep as the “next big thing.” Watch:
I was holding onto a vinyl copy of David Bowie’s Young Americans in 1975; the answer was “No.”
It wasn’t until Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours came out in 1977 did I get my own copy of something; I got an 8-track copy. We always had a turntable but that was for Doris Day and Tony Bennett.
But the greatness was between 1974 and 1977, which is when the sound crept into my heart. I say heart because it was that visceral feeling of sheer joy… kind of like the first time I heard Eddie Kendrick’s falsetto voice that sprang from my hand held transistor radio.
I remember hearing such gems as TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) – MFSB featuring The Three Degrees for the first time. Music changes us; it awakes something within us leaving us wanting more. I was also listening to things like Amateur Hour by Sparks and Bowie down the street at Jackie’s house, she was about 5 years older , I’m sure I was annoying to a certain degree but I couldn’t get enough. It was magical.
In 1977 I left home and moved to Portland, OR. I was 17. The Rafters was the over 21 crowd and Mildred’s Palace was the younger gay crowd. More here at Mildreds Palace.
I found my queer family and never looked back. A couple years later I moved to Seattle and started working at Tugs on 1st Avenue, I was 19. I had to get a special entertainers license from the City of Seattle. The rule was I had to be at Tugs 15 minutes before my shift and had to be out at 15 minutes after my shift. No exceptions. I also helped out at Electric Canary Record Pool.” I definitely remember you in the office with Dana, because we’d all come and hang out and talk music for hours and hours, and Dana NEVER turned down free help.” It was grand, all those wonderful gay men embraced me and I got lessons in everything which is another story, N’est-ce pas?
First thing’s first, see the above? That’s how you are going to follow us and keep up with Bottom Forty. Also, you are going to join our Facebook Group Page here. Yes, you have no choice in the matter, so whip out your phone and open your favorite a.d.d. / time passing / thing to look at to avoid awkward situation apps and hit the follow button.
Let’s move on.
Just what is Bottom Forty and why should you give a damn? Great, good question, well let’s start from the beginning. Just about a year ago I felt the need to sew together my favorite queermosexual Seattle DJs with spectacular taste and musical skills into a super group, or league of musical justice if you will, called Bottom Forty. In doing so, we brought together not only some great selectors (Riff-Raff, Spaceotter, Pavone and myself) but also created one bizzare weekly party under the same name. It was a wonderful setting, a dance club that looked like it (and surely hasn’t) been manipulated since the late 70s, and with mildly pretentious abandon we pushed out the mainstream mechanics and brought this dancefloor back to its roots. Early in the evening each Sunday we began with the finest classic disco, our weekly older gentlemen regulars powdered the floor and twirled until their sweatbands needed to be rung out. Then we moved on through the various eras of music, incorporating all that we love about disco, house, techno, acid, soul, funk and more. In a few months and with absolutely no budget we brought in some amazing guests like Honey Soundsystem, Miracles Club, In Flagranti and all of our favorite amazing local DJs. We took the scene out of being seen by banning photography and phones and pushed everyone to let loose together, leaving their weekly woes behind them.
As with all things, especially in the gay world, we were washed away by the usual consensus of wanting to hear Rihanna, Gaga and whatever else it is you hear at the supermarket, or quietly playing at Value Village, Wal-Mart, blasting out of convertable Mazdas or whatever black hole you choose, the top forty charts. While I know next to absolutely nothing about modern pop music, it isn’t the mission of Bottom Forty to detest another genre, taste or lifestyle, but merely to celebrate the underground choices and culture that we particular queers represent.
In doing so began the creation of this website, our means to continue this path of creation and mind expansion. So grab a hold of this power tool as we hope to provide for and inspire DJs with new and classic tracks and dancefloor killers we come across, provide some herstory of the last few decades of the music and club scene, keep the music nerds well informed, supply (possibly drunken) reviews and recaps of nights out in random cities, and provide a radio station for everyone else to listen to. As future-forward dance clubs all over this town are taken over daily by Britney Spears and circuit parties we aim to take the scene out of the nightclub and into your hands, bringing you exclusive mixes from our favorite DJs and producers world wide, no cover charge, no need to dress up, just look over to the right of the page and hit play and take it all in. As we travel around DJ’ing basements, surfing on couches or sitting on beaches we bring all the inspirations we find back to you, which is why we say, “Bottom Forty is a mirror ball in New York, a basement in Chicago, a cruise in L.A. and a night in the desert.”
I’d like to introduce our newest members to Bottom Forty. Our newest DJ, Jimi Jaxon, has been making ripples around town with his calculated and thought out sets, particularly as a Decibel Festival resident, but we decided it was time to quit the ripples and start making a splash, expect to see more of this one. Also our new contributing writer, dear friend and loyal disco-savant-extraordinaire Tony Radovich brings us decades of knowledge and club history lessons you won’t want to miss.
Go to the B40 DJs page to learn more about us individually.