Disco Spectrum 3

Various Artists

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Disco Spectrum 3 Review

by Andy Kellman

The third installment in Barely Breaking Even's Disco Spectrum series adds Sean P to the track selection committee. Joey Negro took on the duties of curating the first two volumes, and now he's joined by P, who has previously teamed with Negro on the spectacular Disco Not Disco compilations released by Strut. Once you get past the garish artwork of this double-disc set, featuring an open-mouthed vixen bedecked in a silver body suit with space dust sprinkled around her, there's a fair amount of rare to not-so-rare disco to enjoy. The majority focuses on the tail end of the '70s and the early '80s, when disco's popularity was waning in the mainstream. However, this late period of the style was fertile, providing plenty of fodder for club DJs that has often translated to the present much better than their gold and platinum counterparts. What can be found here stylistically is what directly fed into early house, as late-period disco morphed into it. A light shines on Motown, thus proving that the label had something going for it after its exodus to the West Coast. Eddie Kendricks' sweet but sour "Goin' Up in Smoke," Mandre's cheesy but funny "Solar Flight," and Syreeta's effortlessly infectious "Can't Shake Your Love" are strung together. Other bright spots include Idris Muhammad's "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This," Blair's "Night Life," Denise LaSalle's "I'm So Hot," Dazzle's "Reaching," and the Universal Robot Band's "Let's Get This Thing Together." All in all, Disco Spectrum 3 has plenty to please obscurantists, but it's far from the best entry point.

blue highlight denotes track pick