Thursday, 18 June 2009

talc and sunday exercise...

Back in the late sixties in a Loft room on 647 Broadway, a young Timothy Leary disciple and a group of like-minded flower children unwittingly created the blueprint for New York’s disco underground. Beneath a ceiling covered in balloons and streamers, David Mancuso stood before a small Buddha, weaving an eclectic and atmospheric soundtrack (from obscure Latin and African rock, to psychedelic soul and unclassifiable ethereal LP tracks) to match the mood and movement of the dancers; who defined the melting pot that was cooking up in post-industrial New York. Re-launching his party as ‘Love Saves The Day’ in 1969 (after a period of Buddhist disownment and a trip to the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital) Mancuso and his friends created an environment where freedom and unity were the watchwords, as dancing became communion. In the early seventies as word about this unique dance space started to filter through, The Loft became a haven for NYC’s outsider art community. The party’s whole aesthetic, from the refined sound system to the family ethic, became a huge influence on New York’s future DJs and their revered clubs, with famous ‘Loft babies’ including Nicky Siano (The Gallery), Larry Levan (Paradise Garage) and Frankie Knuckles (Chicago’s Warehouse).

Mancuso once claimed he was “tuning in to ‘that natural rhythm - that three billion year old dance – I just applied it through these artificial means which were amplifiers and records.” The bearded mystic first brought this party ethic to London at the end of the nineties as a guest of Nuphonic Records. However, it was a conversation with Tim Lawrence while he was researching his book ‘Love Saves The Day’ that led to Mancuso’s Loft parties becoming regular happenings at The Light Bar in Shoreditch, with Lawrence and friends setting up The Lucky Cloud Sound System. These parties have inspired others such as LCSS and Voices collective member (alongside DJ Alex another LCSS partner) Cedric Woo, DJ Cosmo and Simon and Guillaume whose Beauty and The Beat, Cosmodelica and Deep Frequency parties respectively embrace the Loft atmospherics, as London embraces the more cerebral and spiritual side of nightlife.

you'll be there if you should be there.

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