One DJ’s playlist is another DJ’s shopping list
The London Disco Society are known for their high-octane parties and sounds reminiscent of our nascent dance scene. Lucky for us, they took some time out of their busy schedule to compile IOM 008. After a year filled with festival appearances and memorable shows, we sat down with the duo to learn more about these dance floor technicians.
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
We are The London Disco Society, a disco duo and monthly event by the same name that has been running since 2011. Disco has become very cool again, we were playing it when it was still not cool, that’s how cool we are.
What does disco mean to you, and what makes it so timeless?
We both got into DJing from other genres and have held residencies playing other genres, from house and techno to jungle, grime and UK garage. When you dig deep in any dance music genre and look at the roots and timeline of the evolution, you soon realise that it all started with disco, If you know your disco you can hear that clearly. In reality disco never went anywhere or died, the word just became dirty and uncool; a victim of it’s own success. The music continued on and became house, US garage, techno etc. If you love dance music in any form, you have to show respect to the roots.
Are you referencing or emulating a traditional disco experience with your parties, or are you putting your spin on it?
We’d like to think we capture the hedonism and freedom of The Paradise Garage but we have definitely carved our own little niche with the sound we play, often exploring acid disco and tesko. No one will judge your dance moves or how sweaty you are. Our parties are just us all night with a few of our mates who have been playing with us since the start. I think because of this we don’t get a bunch of people updating their insta stories on the dance floor. We just get people that love to dance to great music. If we are emulating anyone it would be people like Larry Levan, DJ Alfredo and Daniele Baldelli. The great resident DJs that really set the scene for how good a resident should be. Understanding what the crowd wants and teasing them with it to really build an atmosphere.
Is there a single track that’s a must play in your sets?
A track that has been played from the very first LDS party and still makes it’s way into sets regularly is Gettin’ Down by Rayko. It’s a Billy Ocean edit that sums up the vibe perfectly.
What are a few of the most understated/unsung disco artists of all time, in your opinion?
Unfortunately there are far too many mention. There’s a huge trend at the moment for sampling African artists and not crediting them. The Steve Monite tune we included in this mix has become hugely popular this year. Theophilus London and Tame Impala actually put out a cover and didn’t credit him. I doubt he’s seen any money from it.
How does disco, a genre that has such as deep tradition in physical releases, benefit from internet based platforms?
We’re not vinyl snobs. We both have our own 1210s and love viny,l but it’s 2019. Music is for sharing, so if there are platforms out there that can help people discover music easier, then great. The masses can deviate from curated radio pop 24/7 and really dig deep.
Do you like the idea of sharing tracks you play, or do you prefer to keep tracks to yourself?
One DJ’s playlist is another DJ’s shopping list. We love the idea of sharing our music. We’re just DJs playing other peoples songs at the end of the day. We can’t be precious about it. A bit of DJ advice though would be look elsewhere for inspiration. Don’t just play what other DJs are playing, do your own thing.
What was your highlight for 2018?
Highlights would be all the great international gigs we got to play around Europe and Asia last year. It’s such a joy to be able to visit beautiful places to do what we love.
What are you looking forward to most in 2019?
In January we started our monthly party at our new home, Shoreditch Platform. It’s a great little venue with way better sound and lights for a venue of it’s size. We’re really looking forward to sinking our teeth into it and making it a great monthly spot after a few years with no permanent home.