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Disco Club by Black Devil is a sinister electro-disco artifact that was issued on vinyl in at least two countries — Italy (Out), France (RCA) — during the late ’70s. Since then, it has become such a prized truffle that people have been willing to part with over 150 dollars in exchange for an original copy. Metro Area’s Morgan Geist wanted to make the release available again on his Environ label, which has been reissuing long-forgotten singles through its Unclassics series. Rephlex beat Geist to the punch. Making matters curious: around the same time, Rephlex released Kerrier District, a project from Luke Vibert that’s heavily indebted to labels like Environ and Balihu, not to mention this particular 12″. Each of this 12″‘s like-themed tracks are credited to Joachim Sherylee and Junior Claristidge, two unknown producers who were at least a couple years ahead of the disco-morphing-into-house game. None of the six tracks — with plump rhythmic elements, dense construction, and shadowy vocals as common traits — would be out of place on the Strut label’s Disco Not Disco compilations, though we are most definitely talking about disco here. As indicated by the namesake, a dark spirit is present at all times. Even if it weren’t conveyed in the ominous chords and pitch-black fallout-shelter atmosphere created by the production values, the vocals contribute plenty of unease on their own. Most of the time, they make a wordless scat (“Deedit, doodee dee deedit”), or they’re unintelligible, sounding as if the vocalists were cloaked by a thick blanket while in the recording booth. The tracks aren’t terribly different from one another; they’re more like variations of one original mix, but the entire thing remains very susceptible to full play-throughs. Anyone with a remote interest in electro-disco, whether it’s through elders Klein + M.B.O. or younger goofs like Legowelt, should find some time for this.


Black Devil-DISCO CLUB (1978)

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