Various Artists

Soul Jazz Records Presents Nicky Siano's the Gallery

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This compilation documents the tracks that Nicky Siano was mixing at influential New York dance club, The Gallery. At the Gallery, Siano pioneered the art of DJing and helped to create the genre of Dance music. His contribution to modern turntablism is little recognised. Grandmaster Flash has mentioned the influence of disco DJ's on his style but Hip-Hop has always claimed a closer association to Jamaican sound systems. The track listing of this compilation and overall sound of the album shows just how close Grandmaster Flash's record selection resembled these mid-tempo dance and funk rarities. Big drums and big breakdowns ruled The Gallery the same way they would come to rule early Hip-Hop culture. Nicky Siano's extreme approach to DJ made him a pioneer and was the first to make DJing an art form. After reading the description of Siano's mixing techniques it is hard to not wish this compilation was a mixtape. The tracks are all rare and widely forgotten dance and funk classics but hearing a display of some of the earliest mixing techniques would have made the album feel complete. Siano's inventive and relentless approach to creating a party is ignored outside of the liner notes. Reading that he used three turntables to mix two songs with a third for a sound effect doesn't compare to hearing the man do it himself. The songs all have there place in history but if Soul Jazz wanted to give the modern listener a taste of what a party DJ'd by Nicky Siano would have felt like they have only gone halfway.

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