clavette Selects 5 Disco Deep Cuts
Newcomer clavette is an unabashed disco junkie. With over a decade in the music industry as a composer for brands like Chanel, Ray Ban, and Tidal, his new project fuses elements of Tech, House, Disco, and Funk into an infectious sound made for the dance floor.
Today he shares 5 of his disco deep cuts that have influenced his music and formed the genesis of clavette.
Delegation ‘You & I’
I first heard about Delegation while working out at the gym. The second I heard their US hit ‘Oh Honey’, I was instantly hooked. I was incredibly pleased to find that they had a large catalogue of disco, funk, and soul. Delegation was formed by the UK’s Rickey Bailey in 1975. Members came and went, but what stayed true was Rickey’s unmistakable vocals and songwriting and the group’s uncanny ear for catchy melodies and guitar lines.
‘You and I’ perfectly represents the band and the vibe I try to emulate in my own music. Earworm melodies layered on top of soulful instrumentation. This record was a huge success for the band in the UK, and a staple in any classic disco set of mine. That guitar line plays for me in my dreams!
Kalyan ‘Sweet Music’
This record shows you how truly global the disco movement was. Kalyan was a Trinidad based disco group that signed with MCA Records in 1977 and eventually signed with RCA in 1980. Infusing flavours of Reggae with disco proved to be a winning formula for this group.
There is so much complexity going on in this record that every listen I find myself picking up on something new. Upon first listen, the horns and catchy “sweet music” refrains catch your ear, but as you go deeper into the background of the record, you hear the intricacies in the guitars, bass lines, Wurlitzer, and even the clavinet. Making these many elements sound so convincingly simple is an art form. There’s certainly beauty in simplicity, but the same can be said for cleverly layered productions like this one.
Musique ‘Keep On Jumping’
Looking up ‘Keep On Jumping’ on Whosampled.com you’ll find this record sampled countless times in records from greats like Todd Terry and The Eternals to more modern productions like Antoine Clamaran’s Agua Sin Gas project and Crazibiza.
Under the direction of famed producer and songwriter Patrick Adams, ‘Keep On Jumping’ commands your feet from the beginning. This record showed me that a chorus can really soar, especially when the super-wide background vocals hit you in the soul. Music isn’t made like it was when Patrick Adams was producing this record. I often feel people like The Shapeshifters and Dimitri From Paris are really keeping this sound alive by not only producing this sound but recording the music in a fashion true to the times.
James Mason ‘I Want Your Love’
When I think about records that completely catch a vibe, James Mason’s ‘I Want Your Love’ immediately comes to mind. James Mason got his start playing guitar and keyboards for Roy Ayers Ubiquity. Listening to ‘I Want Your Love’ you can instantly hear the influence. This song sounds like it belonged on ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’, but was released nearly 20 years later in 1996.
A 9 minute opera, ‘I Want Your Love’ hooks you immediately with that infectious bassline and live drumming. The real golden moment is the piano line that lifts the song into another stratosphere. The vocals carry the track throughout the record, literally having a conversation with each other. Recorded a decade after the death of disco, ‘I Want Your Love’ fits perfectly into any classic disco set.
Aquarian Dream ‘You’re A Star’
Aquarian Dream is a definite favourite of mine. I like to describe their music as exploratory performance art. ‘You’re A Star’ really solidifies that description. Formed by the legendary Norman Connors in the mid ’70s, Aquarian Dream became a staple in the disco and funk scene in America. They never scored a hit, but they did produce three incredible albums, two that landed at Elektra Records.
‘You’re A Star’ begins with an emotive synth line, opening up into an infectious drum groove and bassline. The entire piece feels like theatre, with vocal repetitions jumping in and out and of the sonic landscape to catch your attention. My favourite part has to be the trumpet solo three-quarters of the way through the song. This record shows you that disco didn’t always need to have catchy vocal parts and melodies like you heard on a lot of the mainstream “pop” songs. Instead, you could create music for the clubs that indulged the psychedelic aspects of the counter culture blossoming in the 1970s.
clavette has recently done two remixes of Delegation’s ‘Oh Honey’ which you can check out below and grab from here