VARIOUS: Can You Feel The Force? (Groove Line)

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Connoisseurs of disco – its music and its heritage – will be familiar with the work of Boston DJ John Luongo. Along with Tom Moulton he was one of the very first DJs to create special disco mixes. He was a true pioneer and like Moulton he never tampered too much with the originals; rather he emphasised the best hooks and the best breaks and cranked up the percussive elements to create newness from the familiar. Given his status there isn’t that music of his work currently available. I guess the 12″ mix format was made for the moment rather that the archive.

However, if you’re a disco denizen, you’ll surely want to check out this new 2 CD, 21 track collection of the best Luongo mixes. The album begins with an epic 9 minute plus version of Dan Hartman’s flagship ‘Relight My Fire’ and ends with the Jacksons’ ‘Walk Right Now’ – and that should give you the flavour of what comes in between. Right – lashings of bona fide disco classics – stuff like ‘Shake Your Body Down’, ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ and The Real Thing’s ‘Can You Feel The Force’ – for which the album is named.

But you also get plenty of lesser know disco dancers – like Johnny Mathis’ ‘Gone, Gone’ Gone’ and the Mighty Clouds Of Joy’s ‘In These Changing Times’. Purists might baulk at disco remixes of Sly’s ‘Dance To the Music’ and Santana’s ‘One Chain’ but at least you should give ’em a try!

The album comes with a massive 24 page booklet that explains the raison d’être of every mix – fine for some, but as someone once said, it’s actually what in the grooves that counts…. and plenty of big, big grooves here.

(BB) 3/5