Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mutant moments

Some of you may have found your way here via your purchase of John Cooper’s (excellent) Scream City 4. Your sense of disappointment is no doubt profound. Many apologies.

However, now you’re here, it would be remiss of me not to give you a few tidbits to accompany the article in the mag on various artist label samplers. So over the next few days (or possibly weeks, given my usual posting rate), I’ll post some further info and some aural accompaniments to my musings.

First up, Mutant Disco. As I mentioned in the article, half the songs on the original 6-track album featured Kid Creole (or August Darnell as he’s known to his mum) in one guise or another. It’s really time for a reappraisal of Darnell, I think. The thing is, the nice people at Strut seem to think the same way, and are working hard to restore him to his rightful place in the disco firmament via this timely compilation. At the moment, Kid Creole is plying his trade in the lead of the long-running theatrical revue Oh What A Night, and you’ve really got to admire the guy on one level at least. Whereas most former stars whose careers have taken a downturn would rant/rail/resort to drink, Darnell, like the old Broadway stager he so closely resembles, dusted himself off and declared “the show must go on”. Good on him. It shows a work ethic that that the likes of Pixie Geldof would do well to emulate. It also led to a situation straight out of the pages of Viz a few years ago, when (former NYC sophisticate and darling of the no wave/disco scene) Darnell was appearing in OWAN at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, and took up temporary residence in the leafy environs of Poulton-Le-Fylde, as documented by the local paper. (Even more bizarrely, he was apparently a one-time resident of Rotherham, having married a Yorkshire lass...)

He's all over Mutant Disco; as well as his own track, he produced Coati Mundi and executive produced Don Armando's 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band (see below) on the original six-track release; the expanded reissue contains seven tracks that feature his input, including great tracks by Cristina.

While Darnell worked with many of the Ze acts, he wasn’t responsible for the production on Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s Funky Stuff; instead the production duties were shouldered by Steven Stanley. (And it’s a bit of a cheat, because this track wasn’t on the original release of Mutant Disco. It is on the CD re-release however, and it’s such a chooon that it deserves a showcase here.) While there's the faint whiff of that early eighties "noble savage" thang surrounding much of Descloux's output, she can be forgiven, as (unlike, say, The Slits, who were mining a similar seam of nostalgie de la boue) she really did walk it like she talked it, eventually taking up residence in Africa with the Marxist scion and Rough Trade producer Adam Kidron.

Adam Kidron really deserves a whole post to himself, so expect that at some point over the next nine months. In the meantime, here are two tracks from Mutant Disco... more compilation goodies soon come.

Download Deputy Of Love by Don Armando's Second Avenue Rhumba Band (mp3) (deleted Aug 2009)

Download Funky Stuff by Lizzy Mercier Descloux (mp3) (deleted Aug 2009)

Buy Ze stuff

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