Various Artists

Disco Discharge: Mondo Disco

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Visually, the third round of Harmless' Disco Discharge series (Mondo Disco, Disco Fever USA, Cruising the Beats, Euro Beats), issued in early 2011, is the least colorful of the whole bunch, mostly white, gray, and black. The same cannot be said of the selections. The compilers have yet to reach the bottom of the well, with hits, novelties, and obscurities -- the tasteful as well as the tasteless -- all fair game. Evidently there is no shortage of notable ‘70s and ‘80s dance singles that have yet to appear on any, or more than a couple, compilations. Unlike some of the volumes, Disco Discharge: Mondo Disco has no obvious theme or thread running through its duration, though some connections can be drawn, such as the one between Voyage’s “Lady America” and Cerrone’s sonically dissimilar “Call Me Tonight,” both of which involve Jean-Marc Cerrone. This is another varied set of club singles, released from 1976 through 1984, with a heavy emphasis on 1977-1979. Among the highlights are Supermax’s “African Blood” (tense but spaced-out tribal disco, somewhere between Santana, Barrabas, and Manu Dibango, albeit from Vienna), John Davis & the Monster Orchestra’s robust version of Ashford & Simpson's “Bourgie Bourgie,” and Who’s Who's wavelike, sitar-accented “Hypnodance” (written and produced by Daniel Bangalter, father of Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter). Don’t scoff at the presence of Andy Williams. His “Love Story” is one of the more theatrical, complexly detailed disco epics you are likely to encounter.

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