Cafe Mancuso, Bordeaux, France, mix

This recording come from the final day of the first anniversary celebrations organised by Cafe Mancuso, an audiophile cafe opened in Bordeaux by Guillaume Taillieu and Philippe Bonnet. The evening began with Yoshi Hitchcock from Deviant Disco leading a conversation with me about David and the Loft. After that it was party time. To be honest I wasn’t sure if there’d be dancing; Gui has forewarned that there’d never been a dance event in the cafe and that Bordeaux didn’t have much of a party scene. Slowly but steadily, however, the floor began to fill, and the evening turned out to be one of the most joyous, expressive and powerful that I’ve experienced. The hard dancing even resulted in the records placed on the right turntable skipping due to floor movement. I hope that doesn’t get in the way of post-party enjoyment :-)

Whatever happened--and these things can be hard to quantify--it seemed to be something of a first. It communicated itself through the sense of excitement in the air, the expression on people's faces, the response to certain records, the joy that vibrated around the room at the end of the night. At one point a dancer came up said how grateful he was to have been introduced to a whole new world of music. Another came up and said he had just experienced a musical orgasm. A third wondered out loud why one record (the instrumental version of "Mystery of Love") had no lyrics and subsequently started to belt out her own improvised lyrics on the spot. It was incredible to see the faces and bodies of others as they responded to the funky, driving strangeness of the François Kevorkian remix of "Go Bang" as if they couldn't quite believe what they were hearing but were happy to go along with their involuntary bodily responses. By the end of the night there was just so much joy in the room.

The wonder of these Loft classics--which, more than any other set of records I know of, have the power to compel people to come together, relax, move their bodies, smile at one another, and throw themselves into the vortex of the dance floor--could be seen all over the faces of those who gathered and danced their hearts out. At the end of it all I was like, damn, I want to come and live in Bordeaux!

I felt like I'd experienced a slightly outlandish experiment produce a positive result. There might be no such thing as a "wrong town" yet nor did Bordeaux resemble the kind of urban setting where Loft-style parties have historically taken root. It didn't matter. As hosts Gui and Philippe Bonnet demonstrated, a Loft-style party can work pretty much anywhere, just so long as certain rudimentary elements are in place.

David Mancuso's Loft on RBMA

Jeff "Chairman" Mao  has published a momentous oral history of David Mancuso's Loft for Red Bull Music Academy. The history is comprised of interviews with Vince Aletti, John Benitez, Barbie Bertisch, David Felton, Fred Flores Ernesto Green, François Kevorkian, Louis Kee, Hiromi Kiba, Danny Krivit, David Liu, Tina Magennis, Colleen Murphy, Paul Raffaele, Mark Riley, Josie Ritondo, Alex Rosner, Douglas Sherman, Nicky Siano, Will Socolov, Elyse Stefanishin, Yukihiro Suzuki, Luis Vargas and Donna Robbins Weiss--I hope I'm not leaving anyone out. Jeff even spoke with me; I have fond memories of an intense interview conducted on a scorching hot day in NYC in early May last year. It's a huge piece of writing and a valuable addition to the historicisation of the Loft--thank you, Jeff! 

While I'm here, I'd very much like to flag up a crowdfunding campaign organised by Ben Goldfarb on behalf of the wonderful Judy Russell, a longstanding employee at Vinyl Maniac and Downtown 81, a regular at the Paradise Garage and a close friend of many in the scene, including Larry Levan, who fell on hard times after becoming ill. It was wonderful to be able to interview Judy and include some of her memories and insights in Life and Death on the NY Dance Floor. Please donate! 

Lastly, the New York Times has published an obituary of the magical Boyd H. Jarvis, already much missed. The article ends with sister Yvette Jarvis recounting how Boyd made and recorded music until his death. What else was he going to do?