Bill Brewster is making his third contribution to the 'After Dark' series, a spinoff of the popular Late Night Tales compilations. Where Late Night Tales is all about the music you listen to when you get home from a party, 'After Dark' is about the music that starts the night: sexy, midnight disco, low in tempo but high in energy.
The latest - subtitled 'Nocturne' - features exclusive material by The Emperor Machine, Hugh Mane, Lindstrøm (remixing Charli XCX), and Brewster's own Hotel Motel project with Alex Tepper. But a bigger draw for the spotters will be the rare tracks that have been licensed for the compilation - out-of-print or otherwise obscure cuts by Rudy Norman (bizarre 10cc-ish AOR), Coalkitchen (bizarre funk rock), and Plastic Bertrand (just plain bizarre) all make appearances.
Brewster should, hopefully, be a name Dummy readers recognise. His long career as a music writer includes publishing the definitive history of the DJ, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, written with Frank Broughton, while as a selector he's one of the most reliable for getting bodies moving to deep cuts and records of the 'what-on-earth-is-this?' variety. Otherwise, you might know him as the guy who keeps the anoraaks in check at DJ History.
With Bill's new compilation out now, and with a launch party taking place this Friday (May 15th) at London's Love Vinyl, we asked Bill to contribute to our '10 best' series. We didn't ask for a specific topic, but what he came back with is brilliant.
During the disco boom, many established pop artists desperately sought to cash in on the fad, cynically making their own disco tunes - with most of the results being, well, a bit crap. But occasionally the stars aligned, sometimes through luck, but mostly due to the help of great session players and engineers. Here are Bill's pick of the ones that worked out surprisingly brilliantly. We're hoping we can do a similar playlist of popstars-gone-dubstep in 30 years time.
Bill Brewster: "Actually Billy did a few (check also Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)). This was the b-side to the also good Stay The Night, but I really like the slow, funky groove to this one better. It was produced by Ken Gold who did tons of (often naff) British disco tunes, including The Nolans, bless ’em, and Liquid Gold."
Bill Brewster: "James Last – or Hansi to his hardcore fans like me – made some astoundingly brain-melting tosh in his long and varied career, but also used to alight upon the occasional funky moment, though whether it was by accident or design, we shall probably never know. (The two best examples can be found on the 'Voodoo-Party' and 'Well Kept Secret' albums, the latter yielding Summertime.) Hansi was helped in his search for the disco-funk on this album thanks to the inclusion of the cream of NY session players, including Larry Carlton, Jim Gordon, and Tom Scott. Go, Hansi, go!"