Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Bob Blank: Blank Tapes NYC 75 - 85.
Another re-up from our sister blog 'Tourist' today as I thought it would fit in nicely across here. It's a great little mix that DJ History.com main man Bill Brewster has put together for the release of Bob Blank retrospective 'The Blank Generation: Blank Tapes 1975 - 1985' on the always excellent 'Strut' record label.
Necessity might well be the mother of invention but poverty is the midwife of genius. New York in the 1970s was broke and broken, falling over and burning down, yet gave rise to one of the most creatively fertile periods in popular music.
At the centre of much of the music made during this fruitful period was maverick producer Robert Blank. His studio, Blank Tapes, was at the centre of the downtownscene throughout much of the 1970s and ’80s, and acted as a crossroads for the disco, Latin, jazz and no wave scenes. The album traces the history of his independent studio, Blank Tapes, one of the city’s most important creative dens during the vibrant arts scene of the mid-‘70s to mid-‘80s.
Blank started out in New York in 1973 as a guitarist before producing one of the first 12″ disco records in ‘75 – Jimmy Sabater’s ‘To Be With You’. He opened his own Blank Tape studios a year later. He quickly became an essential port of call for New York’s artistic community, honing the freeform, anarchic visions of August Darnell, Cristina and Lydia Lunch for ZE Records and, with producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, helping to shape the sound of many disco classics. Musique, Inner Life, Instant Funk and Salsoul Orchestra all recorded classics at Blank Tapes. Arthur Russell also recorded much of his most celebrated disco-related output at the studios under pseudonyms Dinosaur L, Indian Ocean and Felix, as well as “Wax The Van” with Blank’s wife, Lola. Other regulars at Blank Tapes included Latin producer Tito Rodriguez, whose Charanga 76 and Eddie Palmieri recordings with Blank which received Grammy nominations.
The brilliant package features a extensive interviews with Bob Blank about his career in music by Bill Brewster and features some amazing rare archive photos of sessions and clubs from Blank’s personal archive. A must for anyone even remotely interested in theis scene.
1. ORS – Body To Body Boogie
2. Lola – Wax The Van (Jon’s Dub)
3. James Blood Ulmer – Jazz Is The Teacher Funk Is The Preacher
4. Bumblebee Unlimited – I Got A Big Bee
5. Archie Bell – Anytime Is Right
6. Aural Exciters – Spooks In Space
7. Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Darrio
8. The Kay-Gees - Tango Hustle
9. Indian Ocean – Treehouse/School Bells
The Blank Generation Radio Mix By Bill Brewster.