The photo on the cover of BBE’s recent compilation”Private Wax” depicts two women, one-piece body suits, long legs, and high heels. Their heads are craned, hands on their thighs, ready to dance, but staring at you, almost as if to ask, “are you in or are you out”? After all, this is a private affair. Not the high profile glitter and grandiose packed rooms of Studio 54. This is a small club no one really knows and only a select few are invited to join. Private joints committed to tape in dimly lit rooms by a group of names you’ve probably never heard before.
Zafar Chowdhry is the man behind ZafsMusic.com, a website devoted to the sale and discovery of rare soul, disco and boogie records. More importantly he is also the guide to this particular night out. The end result being a well curated collection of bumps and grinds starting off with none other than the bubbling analog synths and floating electronic washes of “Dance” by Ashanti. Absent are the expensive, overblown strings which add unnecessary cheese to so many of the more famous Disco cuts we know. That glitz and glam has been stripped naked and replaced by a gritty Disco strut under a sweaty sax that is truly “private” in it’s dense and soaring raunch.
“Sweet Maryline” by Christian Gaubert features horny horns and an angular vocal line the likes of which any major label studio exec would surely water down if not nix altogether. Wet Rhodes float atop a punctured bass line creating an easy glide perfect for this private rendezvous through the dark side bars of the night.
“When I Come Knocking” by Poncho C. Saint Fingers starts off with a lo fi drum break leading into a bass line so tight and throbbing it could pass for the illegitimate love child of MJ’s “PYT”. Throw in some Smooth Jazz horns, impassioned raw vocals, with sultry electric guitar straight out a scene from a Ralph Bakshi movie, and you have genuine funk delivered in the most private of packages.
Time spent listening to what Chowdhry and BBE have been so generous to share here, is indeed time well spent, and if you want to be extra awesome, you can grip the double LP and assume the role of private guide for sultry dance experiences of your own.
- The Kind Cromang