The fifth edition of the glittering Liverpool Disco Festival is almost upon us. Taking place on Saturday 13th October, and with an all day and night afterparty taking place at 24 Kitchen Street on Sunday 14th, it is a weekend unrivalled on the UK disco scene, which sees some of the world's best dance music DJs visit the Merseyside capital.
But with so many top flight DJs in attendence, it might be difficult to decide where best to focus your attention. So, Skiddle have picked five of the best spinners playing this weekend that you should catch at least once.
Practice makes perfect, so they say. Perhaps few DJs epitomise the truth in that statement than Danny Krivit. Having grown up in a musical household, Krivit started DJing in the 1970s. And he has never stopped since. A regular fixture at incredibly popular rollerskating rinks during the start of his career, he would DJ week in, week out, honing his technique and keeping on top of music releases at various record stores in his native New York City.
In his free time, he would go and check out the other leading DJs on the city's disco circuit, gaining an enviable knowledge from some of the most esteemed names in the history of dance music's evolution. A career as a re-editor of music evolved naturally from his DJing and many unofficial pressings of his work, alongside hard to find classics from NYC's best disco era DJs, have been attributed to him.
In the 1990 he joined Francois Kevorkian and Joe Claussell in the era-defining Body & Soul residency, the weekly club setting a new standard for sound proficiency and an eclectic soundtrack that was steeped in soul. He continues to play alongside these residents at sporadic Body & Soul specials around the world, as well as fulfilling a busy solo DJ career. Danny Krivit plays only one set during this event.
Boo Williams first came to international recognition as part of a new wave of house music producers emerging from Chicago in the early to mid 1990s, alongside the likes of Ron Trent, Chez Damier and Derrick Carter. His first few releases were issued on Cajmere/Green Velvet's Relief Records and pointed in a tracky, Chicago techno direction. But on subsequent solo releases and when partnered with Glenn Underground in the Strictly Jaz Unit team, Williams started to display more of a disco and jazz-indebted house sound.
But there was more to come. Mixtapes and European DJ dates started to reveal the true story; Williams was a formidable DJ, among the ranks of the city's finest, holding a unique style that drew from long mix transitions, a bold contrast of styles that took in disco, trance-inducing, trippy techno and house, soulful vocals and intense percussion workouts. A DJ since the early 1980's Williams brings a master's touch to LDF in whatever genres he plays and for Chicago fans is unmissable. Boo Williams plays only one set during this event.
Known in US hip hop circles from the mid 1990's, thanks to their 'On Track' mixes of obscure breaks, when the repute and records of Boston DJ duo Kon and Amir began to break out of that underground circle in the 2000's and onto vinyl that you could buy in European record stores, people were confused.
Everything from the record sleeve designs to the way they looked and the way they mixed records pointed in a hip hop direction. But the music they presented certainly wasn't. The rare soul, funk and disco they selected for their first internationally released compilations weren't even breakbeat based. These guys displayed a deep love and understanding of these genres in all of their aspects, not just cherry picking for suitable DJ tools.
Further compilation releases such as BBE's 'The Kings Of Diggin' and their own 'Off Track' series went on to further explore their deep knowledge and Kon himself started to include his own exclusive disco edits on the collections.
From mining secondhand record shops to mastering a skill-based DJ technique and re-editing, Kon emerged with his debut artist album in 2013 and has since continued to make music displaying electronic dance, soul and disco tendencies ever since. But those re-edits and a love of rare music are still high n his playlist and you'll no doubt be hearing some of that at LDF. Kon plays two sets over the course of the weekend.
Jamie 3:26 took a roundabout way to reach his current standing as one of the internationally best respected DJs from Chicago. Hailing from the Beverly area on the South Side of the city. While many of his peers came to recognition through music production, Jamie always placed his DJing first and foremost.
Word about his eclectic style, smooth transitioning, deep knowledge and energy building sets started to emerge from mixes passed around online dance music forums from the early 2000s. And thank goodness he found recognition via that unusual route, because anyone who's seen Jamie 3:26 play will tell you that he is a true force of nature behinds the decks. Nowhere has that been better seen in the UK than at his previous Liverpool Disco Festival appearances; his wild, extravagant and energy-filled sets here have literally defined him in the UK.
2018 has seen Jamie 3:26 take his career to a new a level, touring globally and releasing material such as ‘Heist’ and ‘Hit It N Quit It’ In 2018 he also headlined Boiler Room’s Larry Levan tribute ‘Final Night In Paradise’. Jamie 3:26 plays two sets over the course of the weekend.
“You don't have to do a lot to change something,” says John Morales, who has been re-editing and remixing dance music since the late 70s and is regarded as one of the safest pair of hands to entrust with such responsibilities. Morales's work on songs may not have changed their souls, but they have delighted those on dancefloors for decades, surprising with unfamiliar extended sections and rearrangements. But in doing so, John Morales did indeed change something.
His work and a re-editor and a remixer helped redefine the role of the DJ. It is partially down to John Morales that today, the vast majority of DJs also hold simultaneous careers as record producers. He has been key to the advancement of DJ culture. Despite a recent bout of ill health, through his production work, John Morales continues to breath new life into some of the best American dance music of the last half decade. And with his DJing he continues to present the joy of that music in person. Long may he continue to do so. John Morales plays two sets over the course of the weekend.