Whoever came up with the idea for this is brilliant. Superstar techno dj and producer Richie Hawtin interviews Daniel Miller, founder of legendary UK label
Tonight, July 1st, we're celebrating Debbie Harry's birthday. In lieu of my own story, I'd like to share someone else's. As Suzanne Shelton wrote on our
This is more appropriate than you know: Blondie was playing at ParkWest the night we opened Neo - everyone from the show turned up to make the club an immediate success. And "Hanging on the Telephone" was one on the first songs I played that night.
Ok I knew that story, but for those who don't know, Suzanne was the very first resident dj at Neo, and she's referring to its opening night on July 25, 1979. She's also responsible for convincing the owners to let her play a new kind of music called "new wave". I am occasionally blown away (and sometimes despaired by) the realization that this music has been played in this club for 31 years. That said, the early days of Neo were much different than they are today, as the club's focus has gone from punk, ska, and mod to goth and industrial to synthpop and EBM.
I feel like we're celebrating more than just Debbie Harry's birthday at the start of this Independence Day weekend. We're celebrating Blondie, we're celebrating Neo, and a country where an underground nightclub can exist for three decades.
In this post, I will give away some of my favorite remixes. I know approximately nothing about DiscoTech, aside from that I think they're from Brooklyn, and I get really excited when I see their name on something. Attempts to search for more information have come up dry.
I love remixes, it's no secret. I like hearing a familiar song in a new way, different people's takes on the same material, and in general I just have an affinity for things that have been modified. But as a dj, though a remix often makes for a better mix and a bit of the unexpected can infuse some energy into the crowd, it can be problematic as well. A lot of people have carefully planned their dance moves and sing-alongs according to the original, and when you mess with that, well, you get nasty notes written on soggy napkins thrown at you calling you a "bad dj" by passive-aggressive dancers who clearly don't understand the concept. Some people just won't ever like it, but I've noticed it's a lot easier for them to swallow if the lyrics are intact. DiscoTech does this well; they create an updated and energetic backdrop to a familiar classic in a way that doesn't leave people bewildered trying to sing along.
P.S. They also did