Tag Archives: Tom Moulton

Tom Moulton ‎– Philly ReGrooved, Harmless

You need a box set the same way you need a third pair of trainers. In other words, you don’t. Buying a box set is mostly an aesthetic choice, doubly so when the music is available for download. Saying that, disco fans are almost certainly going to want Philly Re-Grooved, a box set documenting Tom Moulton’s fantastic take on the classic disco sound. For those unaware, Tom Moulton is OG. He was responsible for the first remix, first continuous-mix album, first 12-inch single and first extended breakbeat. Modern music might well have been a different beast if he wasn’t around. Many of his extended mixes are load-bearing pillars of the disco movement. His take on “Love Is The Message” or People’s Choice’s “Do It Any Way Ya Wanna” are about as good as funky dance music gets. This new compilation is not the career retrospective you might expect, but instead a collection of relatively recent remixes of vintage Philly disco.

At this stage it’s worth diving into some semantics. The Philly disco sound was typified, but not limited to, the output of the Philadelphia International record label. The two threads of the sound are a thumping rhythm section—originally developed by the legendary bass / drum / guitar section of MFSB—and melodically beautiful and lyrically poignant songwriting. The best of these were penned and produced by revered soul artists such as Gambel & Huff or Dexter Wansel. Often Philly disco could communicate either the desperation of heartbreak or the optimism of the aspirational black American. The remixes here offer plenty of both, often extending fairly short soul records, many of which never had a 12-inch mix, into epically lush suites.

There’s too much music here to detail every track, but highlights include First Choice’s “Armed And Extremely Dangerous,” The Spinners’ “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” and William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got.” These will be well known to most soul heads, and they’re presented here in brilliantly extended glory. More times than not, Moulton manages to ride the tricky balancing act of extending the instrumental parts without loosing the essence of the songs. Perhaps that’s something that speaks to his almost unmatched experience dealing with this kind of music.

Arguably the best moments are the less familiar ones. Betty Swan’s “When The Game Is Played On You” might have some of the most cutting lyrics in any break-up record: “It feels good to say I told you so / those tears sure look good on you.” First Choice’s “One Step Away” brilliantly captures an emotionally precarious lover and her last plea to her former squeeze. Both would be depressing if they weren’t backed with such beautifully soaring music. Marc Evans’ “The Way You Love Me” is another stand out: a modern house track that was transported back in time with an amazing retro rework, first by Dimitri From Paris and Vince Montana Jr., later by Mr. Moulton. For my money it’s as good as a remix gets. Tom Moulton is a living legend and, although at times here the standard does dip, at their best these remixes are some of the finest disco reworks ever committed to wax.

Bron: Residentadvisor

Tom Moulton

Tom MoultonBorn in Schenectady, New York on November 29, 1940. Althought NOT a disc jockey Thomas Jerome Moulton was more essential to the rise of disco than any other single person in it’s history. Tom’s idea of making longer versions of the songs led to one of the DJ’s essential tools, the 12″ Disco single! Disco remixer and even went on to produce for such artists as Grace Jones and his own TJM for Casablanca Records. Some of Tom Moulton’s best known and loved remixes are: MFSB – Love Is The Message (Philadelphia International Records) First Choice – Doctor Love (Gold Mind/Salsoul) Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation (Gold Mind/Salsoul) South Shore Commission – Free Man (Wand)


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