The influence of disco on dance music is undeniable, and something I need not go into any detail on here. However, one aspect of this influence has been somewhat overlooked by most and its impact on one particular island in the Caribbean…
On first appearances, disco and reggae don’t seem like two genres that should have a profitable overlap and yet some of the tunes that have emerged from the scene are truly incredible. Admittedly, these tunes have less of the euphoric floor-filler quality that usually comes with disco. Instead, they combine the dubbed out, down-tempo ease of reggae with disco vocals and instrumentation to make some seriously sleazy toe tappers.
This selection contains some great originals as well as a healthy dose of covers that contend with the originals in terms of quality. Some may recognise the recently repressed ‘Flasha Flashalight’, as well as Shadow’s ‘Let’s Make it Up’ from Hunee’s Dekmantel Boiler Room. Other highlights include two fantastic Evelyn “Champagne” King covers from Barry Biggs and Jennifer Lara, and some lesser known covers by Brentford Disco Band and Risco Connection.
For more, check out Hustle! Reggae Disco on Soul Jazz Records and Favourite Record’s Disco Reggae compilation series, as well as Waxist’s ‘Red Stripe Disco’ mixes.