Boris Midney: Companion

It’s rare that any recording tugs my heartstrings in so many directions. Companion is an ensemble group brought together by Soviet-born Jazz composer Boris Midney in 1981, featuring Charmaine on vocals. He is behind other ensemble groups such as USA-European Connection, Festival, Caress, and the exceptional Beautiful Bend.

Midney gained his first “Disco” exposure when his song was played at David Mancuso’s Loft in New York City. At first it cleared every last dancer off the floor, but after a few more spins it began to grow on David’s audience, including T.K. Disco’s Henry Stone. Soon after, Stone signed Midney and released his first record.

Midney continues to be a prolific songwriter and musician, and as a composer was one of the first to use 48-track recording. This EP is a later (post-1980) symphonic Disco recording in Midney’s signature style, which combines swelling European-style synth lines with Philadelphia-style R&B vocals. Although the entire EP on Barclay is produced well, it becomes campy at times, and almost show tune. “Living Up To Love” however, marries Midney’s cutting edge recording techniques, classical instrumentation, warm vocals, clear horns, and a hedonistic drum break, all at a speedy tempo that somehow chugs and slinks along the sexier side of Disco. With an impressive and driving drum and rhythm section, “Living Up To Love” is restrained yet over-the-top with melodic horns, innovative use of live delay and percussion. Midney’s tape editing and advanced recording techniques elevate “Living Up To Love” to the status of a master Disco recording.

Review by Samone Roberts