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Thread: Larry Levan

  1. #1
    mdpm99 Guest

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    Larry Levan

    Larry is revered primarily as the DJ and driving force of the famous gay disco Paradise Garage. With engineer Richard Long, he custom-designed the Garage's monster sound system and DJ booth, complete with audiophile Thorens turntables.
    Larry's brilliance lay not only in his technical skill and audio expertise, but also in his unique and eclectic taste. He confounded and greatly broadened the "rules" of what "dance music" could be, mixing everything from gospel, reggae, Philly soul and Euro-disco to rock ("Stand Back"/Stevie Nicks and "Eminence Front"/The Who, to name but two), post-punk ("The Magnificent Seven"/The Clash, and Talking Heads), ambient/environmental music (Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching, for example), and just about everything else. He augmented this aural collage with disorienting sound effects and mind-expanding audio manipulations, working the crossover and balance controls to throw sound around the room as if it had a will of its own. Larry was a shaman who opened a sonic Pandora's box when he Djed, with all kinds of beautiful, scary and indescribably bizarre sounds careening around the room like spirits flying out of the Ark of the Covenant.
    Larry cut his musical teeth at The Loft, essentially the first underground dance party. Started by David Mancuso at the advent of the '70s, The Loft combined psychedelic culture with dance music, which then consisted of longform, psychedelic-influenced soul ("Melting Pot"/Booker T. & The MG's, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"/The Temptations, etc.), jazz-funk like The Blackbyrds, funky rock ("Woman"/Barabas, for example) and trippy head music like Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. When Paradise Garage opened in 1976, Larry added gospel-and R&B-flavored disco to his musical menu.
    With Larry at the helm, the Garage embodied all that was beautiful about disco: glamour, unpretentiousness, excitement, hedonism, epiphany through music, black/white and gay/straight harmony, and the general concept of the dancefloor as family. Celebrities like Grace Jones, Keith Haring, Nile Rogers, Chaka Khan and Madonna hung out and danced the night away along with thousands more of Larry's dedicated flock.
    As a remixer, Larry applied his inimitable touch to countless all-time club classics, including "Got My Mind Made Up"/Instant Funk, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"/Inner Life, "Can't Play Around"/Lace, "Heartbeat"/Taana Gardner, Gwen Guthrie's "Should Have Been You" and "Nothing Going On But The Rent" and many, many others. As a writer and producer, he helped create the sound of the innovative New York Citi Peech Boys and their seminal club hits "Don't Make Me Wait", "On A Journey", "Come On, Come On" and "Life Is Something Special", a joyous, mesmerizing celebration of life, love, and music. Larry's work has a spacious, epic, atmospheric quality, with a haunting blend of joy and pain.
    After the Garage closed in 1987, Larry kept a considerably lower profile, doing guest spots at various clubs, including Studio 54, Palladium and Mars, and Djing regularly at The Choice, arguably the inheritor of the Garage's underground legacy. The Choice didn't have the grandeur of the Garage, but Larry made it his home, casting his psychedelic spell on a diverse crowd of devoted Garage heads and various other afterhours types. Although his remixing work (and, according to some, his spinning ability) diminished, there's no doubt that Larry, even on a bad night, was still infinitely more creative, interesting and unpredictable than any other jock around. It was that unpredictability that was the reason for many of his followers disenchantment by the mid-and-late '80's: it was also the reason that legions more literally lived to hear him play, or were inspired to make their own careers in music and the music business.
    Larry's legacy is more than just a legendary nightclub and a fistful of club classics. Larry Levan was the ultimate DJ: he didn't just excel at his job, he reinvented the concept of the DJ, blurring the boundaries of music, race, sex, sexuality, and changing thousands of people's perception of music, sound and the world around them.



    Born: 7-18-1954 Died: 11-8-1992 at the age of 38.

  2. #2

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    [img]graemlins/clap.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/OLA.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    My favourite bit of footage in the Maestro documentary was seeing LL dancing at the Garage wearing a cool pair of punky trousers.
    <a href=\"http://www.unheardhousedjs.co.uk/Mixes/JolyonAround.ram\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.unheardhousedjs.co.uk/Mixes/JolyonAround.ram</a><br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.unheardhousedjs.co.uk/Mixes/JolyonWandering.ram\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.unheardhousedjs.co.uk/Mixes/JolyonWandering.ram</a>

  4. #4
    mdpm99 Guest

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    Just some of the tunes in Larry's library:

    Alicia Myers - I Want To Thank You (LP)

    Gwen Guthrie - It Should Have Been You

    Inner Life - Moment Of My Life

    Jeffrey Osborne - New Love

    Madonna - Everybody

    Margie Joseph - Knockout

    Mary Wells - Gigolo

    Sylvester - Do Ya Wanna Funk

    Rose Royce - Still In Love

    Salsoul Orchestra - Love Break (Remix 12")

    Sharon Redd - Beat The Street

    Sharon Redd - In The Name Of Love (LP)

    Tomorrow's Edition - You Turn Me On

    D Train - Keep On

    D Train - Walk On By

    France Joli - Gonna Get Over You

    Peech Boys - Don't Make Me Wait

    Nancy Martin - Can't Believe

    Amii Stewart - I'm Gonna Get Your Love

    Willie Hutch - In And Out

    Empress - Take A Risk

    Salsoul Orchestra - Take Some Time Out For Love

    Larry Graham - Sooner Or Later

    Lace - Can't Play Around (Levan 12" Mix)

    Terri Gonzalez - Treat Yourself To My Lofe

    AM-FM - You Are The One

    Whatnauts - Help Is On The Way

    Junior - Mama Used To Say

    Sharon Brown - I Specialize In Love

    State Of Grace - That's When We'll Be Free

    Tracy Weber - Sure Shot (2 different 12"s; one has a Instr. Version that

    Larry played)

    Odyssey - Inside Out

    First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder (Remix)

    Komiko - Feel Alright

    Vicky D - This Beat Is Mine

    Yazoo - Situation

    Paul Simpson Connection - Use Me, Lose Me

    Feel - I'd Like To

    B Beat Girls - For The Same Man

    Shades Of Love - Keep In Touch (Body To Body)

    B.T. Taylor - You Can't Have Your Cake (& Eat It Too)

    Mahogany - Ride On The Rhythm

    Fat Larry's Band - Act Like You Know

    Fonda Rae - Over Like A Fat Rat

    Secret Weapon - It Must Be The Music

    Glass - Let Me Feel Your Heartbeat

    Sparque - Music Turns Me On

    Chas Jankel - Glad To Know You

    Aurra - Checking You Out

    Salsoul Orchestrat w/ Loleatta Holloway - Seconds

    Grace Jones - Nipple To The Bottle

    Richard J. Smith - Don't Go Walking Out That Door

    Girls Can't Help It - Baby Doll

    Linda Taylor - You And Me Just Started

    Diana Ross - Work That Body (12" Version)

    Carly Simon - Why

    Dinosaur L - Go Bang

    Funk Fusion Band - Can You Feel It

    Was (Not Was) - Tell Me That I'm Dreaming

    Thompson Twins - In The Name Of Love

    Bo Kool - Love Money

    Sinnamon - Thanks To You

    Grace Jones - Feel Up (Levan Remix)

    Michael Wycoff - Still Got The Magic (Sweet Delight)

    Gino Soccio - It's Alright

    Gino Soccio - You Move Me (LP)

    Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock

    BBCS&A - Rock Shock

    Goldie Alexander - Show You My Love

    Laurice Hudson - Feel My Love

    Klein & MBO - Dirty Talk

    Weeks & Co. - Go With The Flow

    Brass Construction - Can You See The Light (12" or LP)

    The Quick - Rhythm Of The Jungle

    Jamaica Girls - Rock The Beat

    Wanda - I Must Be Dreamin'

    Jammers - And You Know That

    Carol Williams - Can't Get Away From Your Love

    Marc Sadane - Exciting

    Karen Young - Detour

    Gunchback Boogie Band - Funn

    Satin & Green - Spectacular

    Ritchie Family - I'll Do My Best For You

    Ritchie Family - Alright On The Night (LP)

    Michelle Wallace - It's Right

    Sweet Pea Atkinson - Dance Or Die

    Frida - I Know There's Something Goin' On

    Michelle Wallace - Jazzy Rhythm

    Raw Sex - Stop The War

    Carol Hahn - Do Your Best

    Slimline - If You Can Dance, You Can Do It

    Rock Candy - I Got Love

    Sly Cabell - Feelin' Fine

    Steve Miller Band - Macho City (12" Vers.)

    T.C. Curtis - Body Shake (Instr. 12" Version)

    Montana Sextet - Heavy Vibes

    Strikers - Contagious

    Feel - Let's Rock Over & Over Again

    Cheri - Star Struck

    Columbus Circle - If You Read My Mind

    C-Brand - Wired For Games

    Change - The Very Best In You

    Roundtree - Hit On You

    Goody Goody - Let Me Work On You

    Q - The Voice Of Q

    Peter Godwin - Emotional Disguise

    Second Image - Can't Keep Holding On

    Rod - Just Keep On Walking

    Yaz - Don't Go

    Level 3 - Central Line

    Blancmanage - Feel Me

    Soft Cell - Tainted Love

    Atlantis - Keep On Movin' & Groovin'

    Deodato - Keep It In The Family (LP)

    Deodato - Keep On Movin'

    Klein & MBO - Wonderful

    Revelation - Holdin' On

    Jimmy Cliff - Peace Officer (Dub 12" Version)

    Coffee - Purpose (LP)

    Denroy Morgan - Happy Feeling

    Touchdown - Ease Your Mind

    Man Parrish - Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don't Stop)

    Mike Anthony - Why Can't We Live Together

    Donald Fagen - New Frontier

    Ministry - Work For Love

    Cookie - You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover

    Lemelle - You Got Something Special

    Dianne Marie - I've Waited Much Too Long

    Tin Tin - Kiss Me

    Matrix - Stay, I Need Your Love

    Conversion - Sweet Thing

    The Who - Eminence Front

    Toney Lee - Reach Up

    Rockers Revenge - Walking On Sunshine

    Funkapolitan - As Time Goes By

    Planet Patrol - Play At Your Own Risk

    [ March 06, 2003, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: david mancuso ]

  5. #5

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    I remember Larry playing a saxophone version of Alicia Myer's "I want to thank you". I only heard it that one time. I'm sure it was a Larry Levan special. His version of New Birth's Deeper is awesome.

  6. #6
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    and with this list mofos/djs in NYC kill me with
    the 101 classics (same 30 recs)

    feel the diversity people!
    [img]AR15firing.gif[/img]
    HARD MOD BX 4 A SOLID KICK DRUM & SYNTH RYTHM = OTHERWORLDY

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    Originally posted by Ron paizley:
    and with this list mofos/djs in NYC kill me with
    the 101 classics (same 30 recs)

    feel the diversity people!
    [img]AR15firing.gif[/img]

    Preach On!
    We havin church today beneath the surface
    This, underground congregation has no past or a pope
    Just dope beats and conversation
    Time is racin, change is imminent and uninhibited
    Music enthusiast, feel the vibe I illuminate when I communicate with my tribe
    It's spiritual but I'm not no saint I'm here with you to do what I can, nothin I cain't
    -A New Religion


    http://djdub63.podomatic.com/

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    <a href="http://www.ravenfox.net/realserver/larryhigh.ram" target="_blank">
    Pioneers of Music - Larry Levan - BBC Radio</a>

    if you haven't heard this...
    listen now!

  9. #9
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    forgive me David for not thanking you on my previous post. Once again you enlighten the masses!

    Thank You
    We havin church today beneath the surface
    This, underground congregation has no past or a pope
    Just dope beats and conversation
    Time is racin, change is imminent and uninhibited
    Music enthusiast, feel the vibe I illuminate when I communicate with my tribe
    It's spiritual but I'm not no saint I'm here with you to do what I can, nothin I cain't
    -A New Religion


    http://djdub63.podomatic.com/

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by david mancuso:

    changing thousands of people's perception of music, sound and the world around them.

    This is what it all means to me [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Thanks David.

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    For me it's got to be Seventh Heaven by Gwen Guthrie , pure magic. It reminds me why I love Music so much.
    In the half-between world, <br />Dwell they: The Tone Scientists <br />In notes and tone <br />They speak of many things... <br />The tone scientists: <br />Architects of planes of discipline <br />Mathematically precise are they: <br />The tone-scientists<br />(Sun Ra)

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by david mancuso:


    Lemelle - You Got Something Special


    this is an obscure Larry Levan mix.

    nice list David. Stop The War-Raw Sex is a cut.
    "We're not just dancing to have fun-we're dancing for survival. We're dancing to save our lives." PTT

  13. #13
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    speaking of larry,what's that first tune on that live mic mix at Gold,Tokyo in the mix archives?
    In the half-between world, <br />Dwell they: The Tone Scientists <br />In notes and tone <br />They speak of many things... <br />The tone scientists: <br />Architects of planes of discipline <br />Mathematically precise are they: <br />The tone-scientists<br />(Sun Ra)

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    Well chosen/timed post Monsieur Mancuso as always...one thing I have longed to hear (or even read) is an actual interview with Larry...anyone got any source of any kind?
    moving forward

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    in defense of the same 30 classics, some of these songs are hard to find (ahem), and most of the time (at least when i'm playin out) peeps want to hear the same 30 classics.
    just being devil's advocate.
    my favorite moments out have been hearing an old record that i never heard before and it becomes my new favorite song. I'm the guy running up to the old school head who is singing all the words, and asking them what's playing. [img]graemlins/grinyes.gif[/img]

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    Thanks David ,

    Warm words indeed it seemed Larry played a good piece of music whatever it's genre and pushed the musical boundries at all times . This is a very important to note for me anyway .

    R.I.P Mr Levan .

    Peace Alex :D ;)

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    Thanks David, it seems that people were really blessed to have had Larry conducting their music for the night. Not just the music either, but the whole expereince.

    I never heard him play, missed him at the Ministry in 91, but feel that this list is still only a snap-shot of what he was about.

    Alex, you're right, the diversity is staggering and should be cherished in his name. We all owe it to keep this true today and keep pushing, no demolishing, boundaries :D

    [ March 06, 2003, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: Mathius ]
    <a href=\"http://www.funkjunk.notlong.com\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.funkjunk.notlong.com</a>

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    I'm sure hearing Larry work The Jammers "And You Know That" on that monster system must have been something!

    Thanks again David for the first hand knowledge.
    "To know and to act are one and the same" –Samurai maxim

  19. #19
    jsd540 Guest

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    Originally posted by Ron paizley:
    and with this list mofos/djs in NYC kill me with
    the 101 classics (same 30 recs)

    feel the diversity people!
    [img]AR15firing.gif[/img]
    Fo reeeelll...

  20. #20
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    as much as larry is revered, i personally don't think we would see his likes today...as i sometimes note, djs such as he and yourself, David,and other cats from days gone by, played music-all genres of music...todays dj is stuck in the rut of the same ole music that is disgorged by the record store of the moment (which of course,all the hip dj's go to, like lemmings)...even worse its all the same ole 4 on the floor "house" drivel - i long to hear a rock record or a jazz recording (and i'm sorry but "conquistadores...." or "expansions" aint cutting it, with all the new jazz out there just waiting to be played) or some techno or progressive or hiphop - hell i wanna hear it all!

    but i don't

    so i stay away and only venture out sometimes now - and get dissappointed

    jmo
    As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by your idol, Buddy Love:
    as much as larry is revered, i personally don't think we would see his likes today...as i sometimes note, djs such as he and yourself, David,and other cats from days gone by, played music-all genres of music...todays dj is stuck in the rut of the same ole music that is disgorged by the record store of the moment (which of course,all the hip dj's go to, like lemmings)...even worse its all the same ole 4 on the floor "house" drivel - i long to hear a rock record or a jazz recording (and i'm sorry but "conquistadores...." or "expansions" aint cutting it, with all the new jazz out there just waiting to be played) or some techno or progressive or hiphop - hell i wanna hear it all!

    but i don't

    so i stay away and only venture out sometimes now - and get dissappointed

    jmo
    some examples:
    bjork
    beck
    stones (yeah, they've made other stuff since miss you)
    missy elliot
    notrious b.i.g.
    down to the bone
    nusrat fatah ali khan
    jeffrey osborne and the rippingtons
    theivery corporation
    madonna(suddenly she's a dirty word amongst all the so called hipsters - larry supported her from the gitty up - her recent with dirty vegas was dope)
    daniel beddingfeild

    i'm not saying larry woulda played these artists but given his track record who knows

    why have y'all forsaken us

    i'm so ****ing bored
    As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring.

  22. #22
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    All the different styles of music have been splintered off into their own separate scenes and parties. Hence, you won't hear any of that stuff at the few parties you go to.

    I was just speaking about this with Jerel Black last night. We were talking about parties like Garage, Jackie 60, Mars ... where punk, rock, house, new wave, reggae, jazz, glam, and whatever was deemed appropriate or "good" music were all played.

    Now everybody into house tries to "out deep" each other... it's all about perfect blends and seamless beats - so if you want to hear non-house, ya gotta go to a non-house party. They are out there. U just gotta look.

    There are very few - if any - places where you can still get it all in one night.
    "MAY YOU LIVE AS LONG AS YOU WANT, BUT NEVER WANT AS LONG AS YOU LIVE. MAY YOU LIVE TO BE 100, & ME 100 BUT MINUS A DAY, SO THAT I'LL KNOW THAT NICE PEOPLE LIKE YOU, HAVE PASSED MY WAY. AND REMEMBER, WHEN FRANKIE CROCKER ISN'T ON YOUR RADIO, YOUR RADIO JUST ISN'T REALLY ON."

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    great post. btw the clash and the talking heads aren't post punk, they are punk.

  24. #24
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    [img]smile.gif[/img]

    [ March 07, 2003, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: Martin Red ]

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    David,

    Great post my man!

    Thank you,

    AD [img]smokin.gif[/img]

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