London's new disco revival

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Disco is back! Pop on your dancing shoes for an all-night session. But don’t expect ‘Saturday Night Fever’ anthems – London's new disco scene is a far cry from cheese. Here's Time Out's guide to where to catch the new disco scene in London

  • London's new disco revival

    Luca C © Rob Greig

  • The Disco Revival


    Stumble around east London and you can’t shimmy for disco nights clogging up the party turf. But be warned: the new scene unleashes underground 1970s disco tracks that influenced the poppier versions we’re familiar with today and explores its associated genres, from electro to Italo to Balearic and punk-funk.

    New disco productions, supported by Andy Blake’s Dissident Records and the Soft Rocks imprint, are also bringing the sound up to date, while edgy pop stars including Little Boots and La Roux have propelled it on to the top of music press tip lists for 2009.

    London’s top jocks have been rifling through these electronic crates for years, but its colossal popularity has made it difficult to pick out the best nights. We waded through the city's disco debris, asking the freshest party people what this dazzling vintage sound means to them.

    Spangles

    Luca C is the DJ behind monthly party Spangles and guitarist in Cazals

    .‘I came to disco from disco: I grew up in Italy and, at the time, Italo disco was in fashion, so I’ve been into it all my life. At Spangles we only play real and Italo disco, not house or techno too.’(http://tinyurl.com/spangles2).
    Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig (4).jpgDJ History

    Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster helm the influential DJ History website and new night DJ Flicks.

    ‘Disco is the bricks of clubbing as we know it today. The DJ Flicks idea is that you go there, watch a movie about the disco scene 30 years ago and then experience disco music in the bar, where disco pioneer Studio 54’s Kenny Carpenter is followed by new guns Disco Bloodbath, who have updated the sound to the twenty-first century.’(www.djhistory.com). Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig (3).jpgTropicana

    Lasermagetic’s Neil Thornton teams up with Late Night Audio’s Danny Clarke for their monthly, eclectic roof terrace disco, Tropicana.

    ‘It’s one of the most powerful forms of dance music because it transcends age, genres and cultures: it’s uninhibited. This explosion puts it to a new audience – there are a lot of younger people [involved] now.’ Late Night Audio takes place at various London locations (http://tinyurl.com/tropicana2).

    Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig (5).jpgDisco Bloodbath

    Ben Pistor and Damon Martin, along with Dan Beaumont, are the DJs and producers behind monthly Dalston rave den Disco Bloodbath.

    ‘It’s just like a beat message of love spread over a load of bpms. Before there were disco records there were discos and people would just play music that you could dance to. We’re trying to recapture that idea,that you don’t know what you’re going to hear or what’s going to happen.’ (www.myspace.com/discobloodbathdisco).Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig (1)_crop2.jpgSay Yes

    Remix wizards Nadia Ksaiba and Rory Phillips run rockin’ night Say Yes at The Star of Bethnal Green every month.

    ‘Disco informs so many different kinds of music, everything from modern dance to post-punk and pop. It’s so positive – people want to dance again rather than just stand and stare at the DJ booth.’Say Yes is at The Star Of Bethnal Green  (www.myspace.com/sayyesparty).Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig (6)_crop4.jpgLittle Boots

    Victoria Hesketh is a pop diva-cum-DJ.

    ‘It’s just really fun, and I love the glamour. I wanted to stop DJing for a while to concentrate on my music, but we played my Cocadisco set at a shoot the other day and I really miss it. So I’m working on a new mix tape, which you can download free from my website.’(www.littlebootsmusic.co.uk).
    Clubs_disco_CREDIT_Rob Greig.jpgBad Passion Project

    Chris Stoker and Daniel Mitchell, alongside Andy Bainbridge unravel the various psychedelic disco strands at their Hackney club, BPP.

    ‘We love its energy – there’s loads of it at places like Horse Meat Disco. The first time we went there, a bloke was dancing without a stitch of clothes on, just his socks and shoes. People can simply let go and – literally – let it all hang out!’(http://tinyurl.com/bpproject).

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