David Mancuso is a legendary figure, creating a world of escape for friends, like minded souls and dancers in New York city. However his story is a little different to the likes of Larry Levan, or Nicky Siano. He didn’t rock the discotheques of 70’s and 80’s NYC, he threw his parties at home and he didn’t really mix – so why is he such a pioneer and someone dj’s and music fans the world over look to as an inspiration?
Someone once said ‘House is a feeling’. Whilst Mancuso is no ‘House’ dj in the sense that may be understood today, he certainly encapsulates that sentiment. He created a feeling of unity through music, bringing together all regardless of race, creed, colour, gender or sexuality under the banner of good music. People got lost in the music he selected, he let records play out rather than mixed them out, he knew what to play and how to create a mood, not to mention when to up the tempo, or even take it down. He created a feeling in his house, he blew peoples minds with his music (yeah the punch helped too). Essentially, he understood the power of music as a way of communicating a message.
With the utmost respect to David Mancuso, I selected some of the tracks that have been identified as classics of his NYC Loft parties and put them together as mixes. I share these because the music is just so good. I wasn’t old enough to have enjoyed a Mancuso loft party, I imagine that they were pretty special. I’ll just have to make do with replaying the sounds he selected. I hope you can appreciated the music too. I’ll start with the second of the mixes I put together, only as it has been the most popular of the series so far.
Dexter Wansell – Life On Mars
Johnny Hammond – Los Conquistadors Chocolates
Idris Muhammed – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This
Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds (Dance Mix Mk2)
Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes – Wake Up Everybody
Slick – Space Bass
Nu Yorican Soul – The Nervous Track
Eddie Kendricks – Girl You Need A Change Of Mind