I’m pretty sure you read about it here first, in Louie Vega’s cover story written by 5 Mag’s Krystal Rodriguez, but now NYC Disco is the album everyone can’t stop talking about. NYC Disco is already being hailed as one of the best albums of Louie Vega’s storied career. This is the kind of album I think most disco heads actually want – a blend of tasteful edits, remixes and covers – but few labels and artists have the time, talent and patience to unwind the plethora of legal hurdles to make it work. It took this alliance with Nervous and owner Michael Weiss’ family portfolio of disco song rights to make it a happen. I assure you, stars like this don’t align very often.
Nervous in its turn has taken advantage of the digital marketplace to release a gigantic “Extended Version” of NYC Disco. There are a whopping twenty seven tracks here, bearing a closer resemblance to a box set or one of those USB sticks that your dodgy DJ friend passes around with other dodgy DJs that’s packed with every track ever made sorted into tightly organized folders. Except it’s legal.
“Extended” refers to the tracks themselves, too: most mixes on the LP surpass eight minutes in length, with “Love Paradox” featuring the Martinez Brothers topping out at nearly twelve. In other words: this is the sort of thing that would be impossible to release on wax, or at least prohibitively expensive, and it is a minor miracle that it exists at all.
And there are some serious thrills on here. “Love Having You Around” featuring Rochelle Fleming gets a nine minute mix and it sounds better this way. John Morales famously released a seventeen minute edit of Inner Life’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and in retrospect it’s become the definitive version of that song. I believe the same will be true for some of these. Louie’s brought the bass up in most of these mixes compared to the original (even Muzak has louder bass in the mix today than in 1979 when it infiltrated our supermarkets and office parks), but there are some interesting extrapolations here, including the slow swing of Louie Vega’s “interpretation” of the Leroy Burgess/Convertion tune “Let’s Do It.”
When I heard Louie’s confirmation that he was indeed going to release a disco album, I knew it would be good. Everyone did. But the usual pre-release hype aside, NYC Disco is a new classic.
Louie Vega: NYC Disco (Extended Versions) (Nervous)