Monday, October 19, 2020

San Fran Disco: Patrick Cowley 70

It's another manic Monday, and time for a milestone birthday mention for a pioneer who got scalped.

He's not a name most people know, but he's as responsible as any one person who ever existed for so much of the musical style we take for granted these days.

For once upon a time, before wild beasts roamed an Earth covered with red plankton, there was no such thing as Electronic Dance Music.

There weren't even any such thing as these mega-remixes we see, where DJs take a record proper and micro-fillet it into a giant, Frankenstein monster version of itself.

Then, one day in 1977, a prototype appeared from the bowels of The Castro district of San Francisco, California... only then just being colonized and settled by the outcasts of society into the first Gay Neighborhood in the US.

This remix -- dubbed the first Megamix -- altered the plane of dance music reality globally, and led to our birthday boffin being absorbed into the orbit of a then-ascendant singer making his first famous forays into the then-exploding Disco scene, which at the center of gay culture largely emanated from SF.

A master of many instruments as well as the audio editing suite, our hero began to manage the musical side of the singer's brand, and seismic chart movements were felt on the Richter scale.

For the initial time they did their thing, they helped define the path that EDM would take as it evolved. Then they split and came back together a couple of years later to do it again.

The singer's name was Sylvester, now acknowledged as one of the leading lights of the initial Disco thing that became EDM. The producer was Patrick Cowley, and although he was the very first celebrity to die from what then wasn't even called AIDS yet, he left a mark in his short 32 years of life that will never fade.

He was born in 1950 and he'd have been 70 years old today.

To honor him, I have spent the last four days recreating a much-beloved vinyl bootleg of some of his greatest and rarest mixes, reconstructing it from the best possible sources and embellishing it with a sort of sequel volume of the most bodaciously bumping bonus cuts.

Patrick Cowley
Dancefloor Classics Deluxe, 1977-82

01 Mind Warp (remix)
02 Tantra - Hills of Katmandu (The True Patrick Cowley Megamix)
03 Michele - Disco Dance (Patrick Cowley Megamix)
04 Get a Little (12'' version)
05 Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Megamix)
06 Sea Hunt (original mix)
07 Two Tons O' Fun - I Got the Feeling (Patrick Cowley Megamix)
08 Sylvester - Do You Wanna Funk (12'' version)
09 Brenda Mitchell - Body Party (12'' mix)
10 Primitive World (12'' maxi single B-side)
11 Menergy (extended)
12 Kickin' In feat. Loverde (extended)
13 Megatron Man (Razormaid remix)
14 Right On Target feat. Paul Parker (12'' maxi single version)
15 Sylvester - I Need Somebody to Love Tonight (original 12'' mix)
16 Sarah Dash - Lucky Tonight (12'' version)
17 Goin' Home (remix dub version)

Total time: 2:29:53
disc break goes after Track 07

EN reconstruction of the 2006 bootleg LP "Dancefloor Classics, vol. 1" with a full extra CD of rare bonus material selected by me
982 MB FLAC/October 2020 archive link

There's been a recent resurgence in interest in the music of Patrick Cowley, fueled by the release of some lost and previously unreleased albums unearthed by several labels, some of which can be found here.

He may be gone for almost 40 years and he might be a nameless figure looming over the totality of dance music since he passed, but those who know, know who he was and what he means to the continuum of the music of our age.

I shall return soon with yet more unusual shit, but do take this day and this tape to remember the pioneering progenitor of EDM Mr. Patrick Cowley, 70 today and who makes me even more proud to be gay.--J.

10.19.1950 - 11.12.1982

1 comment: