Hiroshi AKA Nikos Otis — Mysterious Vibes aka If You Don’t Like Disco You’re A Big Idiot
President Bill Clinton’s administration was really great for many reasons, but is mostly celebrated in pop culture as being a vehicle for good ol’ Bill to get unsavory sexual favors from members of staff. Disco and Clinton have a lot more in common then wavy saxaphone solos and questionable ethics: the good stuff is overlooked, and the stuff that should probably be forgotten is all that remains in the public psyche.
I’m not really talking about Saturday Night Fever and ABBA and flared pants and shit like that. All I’m saying is that disco/funk bands in the late 70’s and early 80’s provided the DNA for so much good music, but are largely slept on. People are super quick to say they’re down with producers like Kaytranada, but outside of real enthusiasts (and probably the reader) they won’t realize or admit that his vibe is so dope because he’s basically making new disco music.
Duh, sampling is super integral to a lot of modern music, and many people’s familiarity with old tunes stems directly from hearing them in samples. They look to tastemakers to decide what parts of the past to bring to the forefront once again. It’s a case of trends I guess. As we enter the 5th or 6th year of 90’s aesthetic worship, everyone’s getting tired of dutty boom bap instrumentals and trap music and basketball jerseys and snapbacks and shit. We’re looking farther back to the days of beat up 6 panel baseball caps and high-waisted pale denim. The quest for authenticity has almost gone full circle, and everyone’s looking for the realest shit. I knew it was time to fully dig the O.G.s when I saw the back of the awesome George Benson album 20/20 and realized George was wearing my ideal fit, gum-souled Reeboks and all. Get some vinyl, nerd. Stop caring about what’s cool. To move forward, we gotta look backwards and study the origins of the vibes we’re trying to create.
Jay Dee appeared on Gilles Peterson Worldwide in 2001 and in a monologue over songs from Welcome to Detroit he says his goal while making beats is “to make it sound like something I’d find digging”. A noble cause, and perhaps explains the huge impact Dilla had on music then and now, and how his tunes can be so niche but so timeless. He and the Soulquarians understood the need to build on and translate the feeling that soul and disco and funk gave you in a modern context. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”, but there is so much more to it then that one groovy Roy Ayers tune. Listen to Aura. Listen to The Blackbyrds. Listen to Parliament Funkadelic and understand that Dr. Dre never wrote a song in his life. Listen to Earth, Wind, and Fire and don’t think about your mum listening to it while cleaning the house. After that listen to Dibia$e flip “September” like an absolute beast. Listen to Dam Funk. Listen to The Internet. Listen to NZ cool guys LEISURE. Jus vibe out, dude.