Album of the Day: Powerdance, “The Lost Art of Getting Down”

The contributions of Luke Solomon to house music culture worldwide since he started DJing in 1990 could fill books. His connections to U.S. heroes like Derrick Carter (they founded Classic Recordings together) kept the U.K. scene anchored in the roots of club culture, and to this day he easily spans deep underground and mainstream dance culture through his A&R role at Defected.

After so many years and so many shifts in the scene, it’s impressive that he hasn’t become jaded. His Powerdance project crackles with undimmed love of the whole ritual of nightlife in all its technicolor glory. The Lost Art of Getting Down is, very simply, a fusion of early house music with disco at its giddiest heights. Every song is about dancing and clubbing, and rides a steady four-to-the-floor pulse. But within that is so much depth and variety. Most significantly, the deeper roots of disco—in LGBT culture, in gospel, in psychedelia—are celebrated at every turn.

The lyrics likewise both serve immediate function as exhortations to dance, and reach out to something more universal. References to the club as “A Safe and Happy Place,” and the plea “let’s love like innocents, let’s sing” are reminders that dancing can be a sacrament, a social glue, a savior for those who otherwise struggle to find their place in the world. This isn’t hippy-dippy hey-wow-let’s-come-together rhetoric—the deeply-rooted psychedelic high camp edge makes sure of that. It’s hard-won wisdom by and for people who really understand the power and value of the groove.

Joe Muggs 

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