Having just released new single Babyboy, Greek-born New York-based singer Monika is set to play a UK show at the Hoxton Courtyard in London next week (17 November). To celebrate she's made Q a playlist of disco tunes for her Neo Club Med.
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas – Boney M Down "Hans-Peter Lindstrom and Prins Thomas had a large hand in the wonderful resurgence of Balearic disco. I'm not even sure how to put this into words, but their disco vibes simply make the world a better, brighter place. So magically beautiful, Boney M Down is my favourite track off their self-titled debut from 2005. The perfect pairing of these two great Norwegian producers found them working together to refine their respective "space disco" sounds, pulling from a wide range of influences: from electro and fusion, to prog and Krautrock."
Desire – Under Your Spell "I can't imagine the recent Italo disco revival without Johnny Jewel, whose moody, emotional pop is truly 21st century sounding music. You might know this song from the Drive soundtrack, by his band Desire, one of Jewel's many projects that he uses for delivering his futuristic, slow-motion disco vibes to the masses. If you're not familiar with Jewel, make sure to check out his better-known groups, Chromatics and Glass Candy, along with the rest of the roster on his incredible record label, Italians Do It Better."
LCD Soundsystem – 45:33 (Prince Language remix) "I love starting the day with an early-morning jog by the Mediterranean Sea. Of course, I’ll be wearing my headphones and this Prince Language remix off LCD Soundsystem's 45:33 is what usually gets me going. It's also the track that I want to hear playing when I finally make it to one of 2ManyDJs' Despacio Soundsystem nights – I'll be out on the dance-floor in no time!"
Mark Barrott – Baby Come Home "Run by Mark Barrott, International Feel Recordings is such a cool label, well known for its sophisticated Balearic vibes and releases from legends like DJ Harvey and Jose Padilla. I have such a hard time believing that Bardott's Baby Come Home came out in 2014; it's soooo Club Med, and so is the video!"
Locussolus – Next To You "I could include cuts from all of DJ Harvey's productions on this list: from the psychedelic throwback-rock of his recent Wildest Dreams album to his Map of Africa collaboration with Rub'N'Tug's Thomas Bullock, or those hard-to-find Black Cock edits. My personal gateway to this legendary producer, however, was the Next to You single from his Locussolus project, which also marked Harvey's return to Europe after spending almost a decade in the US. Simply put, it's the best psychedelic soft-rock experience that I've ever had on a hot summer night."
Aeroplane – We Can't Fly "I can't think of any other track released in the past 10 years that screams Club Med like this one. The last song that Vito De Luca and Stephen Fasano (Magician) worked together on, the epic We Can't Fly is one of new disco's signature tunes. While De Luca is a fantastic producer in his own right and continues on as Aeroplane, Magician's presence, in my opinion, is what really made the music so special. I love the steel drums and the overall vibe of this track, which brings to mind Grace Jones' Jamaican Guy. Classic!"
Andrew Weatherall – You Can't Do Disco Without A Strat "I caught a DJ set from Andrew Weatherall a few years ago at a club night in Athens. I remember losing a favorite scarf that evening, but I was so blown away by this amazing DJ and record selector, that I didn't even care. From that point on I was obsessed, going through all of his releases, from his Boys Own days in the acid house scene to producing Primal Scream's Screamadelica, or his recent guitar-disco project, Asphodells. Weatherall is one of the few artists keeping the mysterious dark-disco spirit alive."
DK – Softest Place "Released this past March by Antinote, an up-and-coming indie electronic label based in Paris, D•K•’s Love on Delivery EP was my soundtrack during my last visit to the City of Love. Its last track, Softest Place, is a serious treasure, and pure bliss as far as I’m concerned. You can almost feel a breeze of fresh air blowing through your hair under those colourful synthesizers and electronic marimbas. Oh, paradise..."
Neurotic Drum Band – Neurotic Erotic Adventure "This NYC duo came to my attention from a good friend who thought that their eclectic take on Italo disco might be a good fit for a remix on one of my album tracks. Sure enough, Neurotic Drum Band signed up to re-work Babyboy, and I can’t wait to hear the end result. Maybe they were turned on by the analog Dunham Studio vibes of the original. When I heard Neurotic Erotic Adventure, it all made sense. Such perfect timing!"
Todd Terje – Preben Goes To Acapulco "Like DJ Harvey, I could have made a whole playlist of Todd Terje productions and been happy. I mean, this dude might almost be the Giorgio Moroder of our time, not only thanks to his amazing, successful remixes but also because of his infamous edits and, most importantly, It's Album Time, the incredible full-length he released last year. I can't believe I missed his full-band show at Terminal 5 this past summer in NYC; I know for a fact that I would have been blown away. I was torn between choosing either Preben Goes to Acapulco for this list or Johnny And Mary, which I also adore, but I went with the former because of its unique finesse and how it feels all at once groovy and inspirational to me."
So, this is it! I've closed my Cub Med playlist in kind of the same way it opens, with another super-cool Norwegian disco pioneer. I hope you enjoy it! Love ya, M!
PS After all of this great Mediterranean flavored dance music, may I ask you to listen to just one more song, a love song? Let’s face it, nothing closes out a hot, groovy night better than a love song. Dedication comes from an LP released in 1970 called Reflections. The album was never really that popular, however, this one-off collaboration between Manos Hadjidakis, who to me is the greatest Greek composer ever, and the band New York Rock & Roll Ensemble is so special. Goodnight, beautiful people. And don't forget to dance and then fall in love. Kiss.
For more head to to Iammonika.com.