24-01-2013 | 10.54
For his “first clubnight ever in the Mazzo in 98/99”, Dr. Proper invited Daniel Wang. This Saturday a revival will take place in De Verdieping; a great excuse for us to get wander through Wang’s records.
Daniel Wang grew up somewhere between California and Taiwan. After an academic period, he chose Disco. Wang started his own label Balihu Records, and began releasing great music. But the academic has never truly left Wang. And so his vinyl releases contain lots of notes and remarks. His first record on Balihu (Bally..who?) has the following printed on it:
“Mysteries of House, Part One
1. Where is the original L.I.T.M. organ solo?
2. What was Arthur Russell really saying?
3. Are Paul Simpson and Pablovia RaBaN in fact ... the same person?
BONUS: name all samples on this record and win a trip to Paris... OR maybe BAL-002 test pressings!”
Sometimes there are even instructions on how to play the record. On BAL-010, Wang kindly asks you to “(pitch A1 down pls)”. My favourite has to be BAL-005: the A side looks perfectly boring, but the B side is packed: Instructions (“Turn mirror ball on at vibes breaks and flip light scheme again at kalimbas”), references (“The break in ‘Lust’ by 7 Deadly Sins refers to ‘Dance of the Devils’ by 19th C. Fr. composer Saint-Saëns, in which the devil plays a jig on a skeleton-xylophone”) and finally, opinion:
“Enough of getting kicked in the head by hateful, monotonous tracks. When we hear that sound, we should all either sit down or walk out.. or try to make it better.”
Of course, Wang makes it better. His productions are everything you like about Disco and nothing you hate about it. Besides synths and drummachines you will also hear some more unusual instruments on his records, for example a theremin. In case you don’t know: the theremin is an instrument you play without touching it. Leon Theremin invented it in 1919. Two of the older theremin videos are especially great to watch:
1. Leon Theremin playing his own instrument
2. Clara Rockmore plays "The Swan" (Saint-Saëns again)
Today, the theremin is often found in the nerd niche and so it’s especially great to hear Wang use it in his tracks, like in Black Boots And Sine Waves on the right.
Ok, so somehow we ended up at the theremin.. Let’s finish with one more note from one of Wang’s records, Free Lovin’:
“Records I abhor: anything with that stuid clackety overcompressed swing beat & sampled divas belting nonsense. Records I wanna play at 7 am: Real Thing – S. Mendes. Ghetto – D. Hathaway. Evil – EWF. Etc.... You know what I mean!”