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Album of the week: Various artists – TK Disco Re-edited Vol 1

During the height of Disco in the late seventies T.K. Disco has been the first and only word in Disco. Their iconic tiki-themed covers  have long been synonymous with the sounds of Disco, with the Miami-based label staking their own remarkable claim in the genre, most impressively as an independent label in the 1970’s. Throughout that decade T.K. Disco supplied DJs with energetic Disco cuts from a stable of talented artists, and even making their mark in the charts with the likes of KC and the Sunshine band. Unfortunately the label  didn’t survive much longer after the “Disco Sucks” event and movement and filed for bankruptcy in 1981, but the music lived on with tracks like Ralph McDonald’s “Jam on it”, being sampled by Hip Hop’s upper echelon, from the Roots to Q-Tip over the years. In Oslo, and with the city’s unique relationship with Disco, T.K. Disco records has always enjoyed a special kind of reverence in the DJ community.

In 2015, label owner Henry Stone resurrected T.K.Disco, re-issuing some old favourites from its back-catalogue and updating a few seminal pieces through edits from the likes of Danny Krivit, records that have always enjoyed an audience at places like Filter Musikk. In the latest addition to the label’s extensive catalogue comes a whole series of these edits in a double LP. Re-edited Vol. 1 is a selection of some of the label’s most iconic pieces re-edited by some of the DJ world’s most renowned figures working in the field today. Dimitri from Paris, Norman Jay, Late night tuff Guy, Kon, Todd Terje and Danny Krivit, take on tracks like Ralph MacDonald’s “Jam on the Groove” and KC and the Sunshine band’s “I’m your boogie man” for this star-studded release.

Their contemporary counterparts handle the fragile originals with the care of a museum curator, preserving as much of the original, but leaving their own faint mark in the process. Importantly these are edits and not remixes, so the original sonic  charm of these classics remain in place while some structure and perhaps, modern mixing effects are applied to make these records work on a modern dance floor for today’s audiences. Todd Terje delivers two KC and the Sunshine Band edits, most notably their seminal 1976 classic, “I’m your Boogie man.” He strips the original from its vocals, and with a minimal approach, he turns the Disco original into a future boogie classic, which will surely be making the rounds this summer on the DJ circuit.

And while Danny Krivit turns Ralph MacGonald’s “Jam on it” into a DJ tool in one of the most extreme edits in this compilation, most of the producers have favoured a more reserved approach to handling these classic disco tracks. Each producer their unique perspective from the modern DJ booth through these old tracks, not in a way of modernising them, but rather like hearing them with a fresh set of ears. T.K. Disco have certainly caught everybody’s attention with this star-studded- cast and tracks on the first of what we hope to be a series, so it would be interesting to see where they take it next, and if they can maintain the standard they’ve set on volume 1.