Various

The World Of Keith Haring

Soul Jazz

Released: 28th June 2019



In collaboration with Tate Liverpool, Soul Jazz Records are releasing this stunning new collection entitled The World of Keith Haring featuring music influential to the artist Keith Haring including Fab 5 Freddy, Yoko Ono, Gray (Jean-Michel Basquiat’s group), The Jonzun Crew, Larry Levan, Talking Heads, Sylvester, Johnny Dynell and many others.

The World of Keith Haring is released to coincide with the presentation of the first major exhibition in the UK of Keith Haring’s work opening at Tate Liverpool on 14 June 2019 and which runs for the next five months.

The album comes in deluxe artwork and three formats: Double CD + 48-page book; a deluxe 3xLP + bonus 7” + download code vinyl version; and a 3xLP + download standard vinyl version. All formats of the album feature original photography, extensive sleevenotes and interviews.

The music collected on The World of Keith Haring is a combination of rare disco, early electro and New York punk/dance tracks reflecting the vibrant and hybrid world of downtown New York in the 1980s.

Here you will find early electro from The Jonzun Crew, Adiche and The Extra T’s alongside angular jerky crossover punk/dance and disco/not disco tracks like Pylon’s ‘Danger,’ John Sex’s ‘Bump and Grind’, Yoko Ono’s ‘Walking on Thin Ice’ and Mudd Club DJ Johnny Dynell’s ‘Jam Hot.’

The music of some of Haring’s favourite visual artists (and friends) also feature heavily including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s experimental group Gray, George Condo’s art rock group The Girls (produced by David Thomas of Pere Ubu) and early rap from Fab Five Freddy.

Paradise Garage soul and disco classics here include Sylvester’s seminal ‘Over and Over’; London DJ Tony Williams’ fusion of Jamaican dub and New York dance music as The Funk Masters, Damon Harris’s uplifting ‘It’s Music’ and disco producers extraordinaire Peter Brown and Patrick Adams’ homage to the new phenomenon of the day – The Guardian Angels of the New York subway system.

Together these are some of the tracks first heard in New York’s prolific underground club scene of the 1980s – including Club 57, The Mudd Club, Danceteria, Hurrah, Area, The Fun Club, Tier 3, The Palladium, Roxy, Pyramid and Paradise Garage. Haring was a regular face at many of these clubs, often a creative participant, both shaping and defining the cultural identity of downtown New York.

Also included is a track by the long-standing French experimental group Art Zoyd. ‘Sortie 134’ made as part of the music for ‘Le Mariage du Ciel et de L’Enfer’ (‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’), a ballet created by Roland Petit, choreographer at the National Ballet of Marseille, based upon a collection of pose and poetry by William Blake. As one of many works that Haring took on in Europe at the time, Petit commissioned the artist to create a massive 100-square metre backdrop painting for this show.

The selection of music on this collection is itself like a mixtape that reflects Haring’s wide-ranging musical influences and connections. And for someone who neither DJ’d nor played in a band he had impeccable musical tastes, with music playing a pivotal part in both his life and work, and functioning as an essential and always present soundtrack to both.