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Various Artists

Lofts & Garages: Spring Records And The Birth Of Dance Music

Ace / BGP

Released: 19th February 2021

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As disco died, New York’s clubland looked to the future and created the blueprint for the dance music that took over the world. Spring Records and its Posse subsidiary were well placed to discover the latest trends and those behind them. This album shows them working with many future greats, from Arthur Baker to Timmy Regisford and Michael Jonzun.

1980s New York was where modern dance music took its first steps – a phoenix rising out of the ashes of disco’s over-exposure and demise. The underground scene was the very opposite of the celebrity-sprinkled commercialism of Studio 54 – “Lofts & Garages” looks at how the Spring label, with its brand new 1980s subsidiary Posse, reacted to the new movement.

As an independent New York label, Spring was perfectly placed to understand new trends in the clubs. It worked with some of those who would go on to define the dance music of the era and, for a glorious summer, tracked the important early work of Arthur Baker, Maurice Starr and Michael Jonzun, who began their careers producing acts such as Ritz, Glory and Blaze: records that sounded perfect for 12-inch singles and mixed electronic instruments with a real feel for the dancefloor.

Spring mainstays Fatback were always searching for a new groove and kept an eye on the floor. Their final single for the label, ‘Spread Love’, was remixed by Morales and Munzibai. Fatback’s Bill Curtis and Gerry Thomas also produced the sought-after boogie single ‘Get Up An’ Dance (Dance With Me)’ for Mynk.

Others featured here include one of the most distinctive voices in dance music, Fonda Rae, with her single ‘Live It Up’, released here in its rare radio edit; veteran soul man Lonnie Youngblood with his gospel-influenced ‘Sing A Song’; Detroit dance pioneers C-Brand’s ‘Wired For Games’; and Body’s ‘Have Your Cake’, which has an early mixing credit for dance music legend Timmy Regisford.