Updated: Mar 31, 2019
Ahead of his set this Sunday alongside L.A.'s Sindri, the Dublin spinner and Bodytonic member lays out his top five sleaze records. For those not familiar with the term here are a few explanatory words from the man himself.
"Also known as morning music, sleaze was a downtempo style forged by DJs in the gay clubs of New York, San Francisco and Fire Island, revered thus that it is still discussed today with religious fervor by denizens of said clubs who are still around today. It was characterised by a slow lilting tempo, rich arrangements and songs of lost love and heartbreak, all seamlessly beat matched for a smooth flow from song to song. Often played as an encore section at the tail end of a long night of dancing to typical uptempo disco, this was often when the top DJs of the era such as Jim Burgess, Bobby Viteritti, Roy Thode, Robbie Leslie, Howard Merritt, Wayne Scott, Terry Sherman, Shaun Buchanan, Michael Fierman and their peers, would separate themselves with a level of musical distinction and sophistication which often marked the great from the good. It often required a show of exceptional musical knowledge and technical skill to be able to deliver a flawless sleaze set, all of which is evidenced on some of the outstanding recordings of said sets which exist out there on the internet today.
While I love House and Disco music, this particular subset is my core musical passion, and is rarely heard in clubs today (Shout out to Luke Howard, who is one of the few contemporary DJs I've heard play a sleaze set in a club environment, in addition to some excellent sleaze mixes he has done in recent years.)
I'll be opening and closing at Horse Meat this Sunday and whenever I have the luxury of playing a longer set, as some of you who have caught me in the past might know, I love to stretch my legs musically and play tracks like this."
Lamont Dozier - Take Off Your Make Up
"This is the sleaze anthem of all sleaze anthems, and was a staple in the early morning hours at The Saint although its lineage goes back further to nights at Flamingo, 12West and Fire Island. I've heard it on countless recordings of DJs from that era and it never gets old.
This was b-side to the title track of Motown songwriting legend Lamont Dozier's 1973 debut solo LP, Out Here On My Own. It holds a special place in my heart, as one of my 2 copies of the LP was a gift given to me by the legendary Saint and Pavilion resident DJ Terry Sherman, who I got to know and became friends with about 10 years ago. Given that this was the copy which provided the soundtrack to many special moments at The Saint and other legendary clubs Terry played in during his storied career made it all the more specil."
Al Wilson - Show & Tell
"A very close second in terms of my favourite sleaze anthems. This is a beautiful 70s soul song of yearning love that I first discovered 15 years ago. Arguably the standout song of what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest DJ sets ever recorded (Jim Burgess’ legendary set at the last night of The Saint in 1988). It has been a huge influence on me and my taste and the soundtrack to many happy memories. Originally sung by Johnny Mathis, Wilson's version was a cover from 1973, and briefly a top ten hit in the US."
Love Unlimited - Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It
"The second single from Under The Influence, the second LP from Barry White’s female vocal ensemble Love Unlimited, this is often overlooked due to how influential the initially overlooked instrumental ‘Loves Theme’ became. This is my favourite track from the LP and features the usual amazing strings and arrangements Barry White is remembered for, along with a powerhouse vocal from his future wife Glodean James. Having long loved the whole LP, I finally got a pristine vinyl copy 10 years ago in A1 in New York for $3.
Natalie Cole – These Eyes
"I first heard this uptempo poppy soul ballad on an old tape from my all time favourite DJ, Roy Thode, about 10-11 years ago and fell in love with it straight away. Originally written and released by Randy Bachmann in 1969 during his pre Bachmann Turner Overdrive days, this is a cover version which was included on Cole's 1981 LP ‘Happy Love’. It features an off kilter upbeat arrangement, including Natalie's Uncle Eddie on Fender Rhodes and Keni Burke on bass. This received a rapturous reaction in the middle of my 5 hour set at Horse Meat Disco in January 2018. It's a special memory which will stay with me forever."
Sylvester - Here Is My Love
"When most people think of Sylvester, they think of ‘Mighty Real’, ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ and fast paced falsetto disco workouts with Patrick Cowley. This album cut from his 1981 LP ‘Too Hot To Sleep’ is my all time favourite of many favourite Sylvester tracks, and is a sultry duet with legendary San Fran soul chanteuse Jeanie Tracy, which clocks in at around 84 bpm and shows off the lower end of Sylvester's incredible vocal range. Louis Biancaniello (who also worked on Shanice's ‘I Love Your Smile’ of all things)delivers a virtuoso performance on the piano."
Check out Conors mixcloud page HERE