Thursday, March 20, 2008

If You Like Pina Coladas . . .

March is the most difficult month of the year in New York City. Truth be told it hasn't been a particularly cold or stormy winter, but that doesn't make today's wind-chill of below zero any more appealing. In fact I would prefer some snow over this extended winter outro vamp that never seems to end. That's one reason that I am absolutely LOVING this new compilation recently released by the resurrected STRUT Records.

"Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986" is a loving tribute to the studio and house-band that was contributed to some of the Talking Heads' most innovative records (Tom Tom Club, too) not to mention some late disco classics performed by Grace Jones, Gwen Guthrie and remixed by the likes of Larry Levan and Francois K. The track-list includes some obvious, but classic, songs and some lesser known gems. Down below I picked my favorite two tracks for your listening pleasure. Check out the resurrected Compass Point Studio website for some history, to book some studio time, or to buy a commemorative mouse-pad (pictured: above right).

This is an actual picture of sunset at Compass Point Studios . . . Beats the hell out of my view of the Con Ed power plant from my office window on a grey and windy day in Astoria, NY.

Guy Cuevas - Obsession (Nassau Mix)
This song is a revelation. I need to read the liner notes from this comp - evidently written by the guy who wrote the Lee Perry biography - to see what the 411 is on this track. Evidently, Guy Cuevas, is a French DJ and this is the "Nassau Mix" for his song "Obsession." I don't know if that means it was only mixed in Nassau, or recorded there as well. It has that great mix of Disco, early Hip-Hop style delivery and all in Spanish from a French DJ with dubby effects courtesy of Sly & Robbie.

Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop the Music
Speaking of Sly & Robbie, this is their dubbed-out cover of Yarborough & Peoples' "Don't Stop the Music," which sounds like a major smoke-out in the studio with guest cameos from Newcleus, Bootsy Collins and King Tubby. This one's for you, Nicole.

1 comment:

jerome green said...

Hi Ambassador,

Wow, sorry I forgot to comment. Thank you for posting these! I just bought the CD when I realized I didn't have some of these songs. I'm a devoted Larry Levan follower (I have the Padlock mini-album - a treasure). This studio produced many of the sounds that I loved through high school & college (these songs changed my life: Talking Heads, Gwen!, Grace!, Tom Tom Club). Everyone used to go crazy over "Genius Of Love".

Thanks again,
Peace, Jerome