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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Dimitri From Paris
Cocktail Disco
BBE

Rating: 7/10 ?


June 22, 2007
Disco as a genre has been both coveted and despised. We all saw public forms of distaste in the likes of Disco Demolition Night and club bashing. On the flipside you could look at a guy like Dimitri From Paris, who has been digging in crates for rare disco vinyl and shows his love for the dance sound with Cocktail Disco.

Inherently, something like "cocktail disco" needs a little explaining. Dimitri has been quoted describing it as a type of disco subgenre that was "usually played afterhours, in spots with a strong sex-oriented drive. Cocktail Disco has that ubiquitous 4/4 beat and flying open high hat, complemented by rich orchestrations, campy over-the-top vocals, and an often tropical-Latin vibe." The subgenre was also referred to as "sleaze," and was only of any consequence from roughly 1976 to 1979.

Through two discs and 22 tracks, Dimitri From Paris shows off his crate digging and DJ mixing skills, and in the end comes off as both an accomplished indie historian and retro party starter. Cuts like "Never Too Late" (Ms Victoria Barnes), the 17-minute marathon "Starflight" (The Band That Fell To Earth), cowbell and honky tonk piano-friendly "Keep It Up" (Nightfall), Mizell Bros.-esque "Summertime" (The Blue Velvets), and "Frenesi" (The Ritchie Family) are all bona fide grooves with undeniably infectious Latin-tinged offbeat hi-hat rhythms, sing-a-long vocals, and large but breezy string and horn sounds. Other tracks such as the back-to-back "The Girl From Ipanema" (Astrud Gilberto) and "My Cherie Amour" (Orquestra Novel) are just too over-the-top, and their cheesiness saps an otherwise solid run.

Many of the selected tracks on Cocktail Disco are well over four minutes long, and a couple long-running songs - "Starflight" and Ray Martinez & Friends's "Lady of The Night (Hey Honey Come Gimme Money)" - remind the listener as to the never ending party atmosphere and musical appreciation that the music was born from. Just like the genre it is celebrating, the album is meant to be a funky mix that is fun, not something dissected and examined for its subject's relative shortcomings or production/technical gaffes. If excessive toe taps and head bobs earn critical marks, this comp does pretty well.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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