Various Artists - Milky Disco 2: Let's Go Freak Out

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  • The new wave of trippy disco marches on: You can call it a resurgence if you like, but if the Milky Disco series is any indication, it's more like a return of a sound that never happened, as artists dig deep into the past for the sake of the future. Milky Disco's first volume was a crucial contribution to the then-burgeoning neo-disco scene, and two years later its successor sounds just as fresh and relevant: new blood gets injected, and old stalwarts pull some new tricks. Nailing a sequel isn't always easy, but the comp's expansion to two discs allows room both for tracks that embrace the more familiar elements of the mini-genre, such as shimmery, lava-lamp ambience and vision-quest song structures, and those that expand on the style in a way that prevents it from becoming a cliché. Two discs also means that there's a few by-the-numbers pieces here, like the disc one opener, "Midnight Jogger," which to be honest does make you feel a bit like you're checking out a website for high-end spa treatments—a soundtrack to digital capital. But the less-impressionable instances are heavily outweighed by must-have moments. Secret Circuit's "Roll" sounds like an outtake from Quiet Village's Silent Movie, and for psychedelically smooth chill-out music there are few higher compliments. Another advantage to the two-disc stretch-out is the chance to let the big boys roam in unexpurgated expanse—you get all eleven minutes of Gatto Fritto's killer "Hungry Ghosts," which, although the title sounds like a Mario Bava film, is actually a glistening Balearic adventure, a vessel on the open sea pointed towards the setting sun, languid synth swells and needley guitars echoing. Likewise there's plenty of room for weirdo-disco godfather Bernard Fevre to turn in two heretofore-unheard Black Devil Disco Club jams, and as you'd hope he manages to effortlessly show the newcomers how it's done. Brain Machine's rework of "Is Sorrow" takes the trademark Black Devil sound into previously unexplored depths, producing an atmospheric long-form creeper that sounds like it's emanating from an alien colony on the ocean floor. Furthermore, "disco" shouldn't instantly conjure up embarrassing clothes and nauseating boogie—check out DFA's Eric Broucek's mix of Soft Circle's "Don't Just Stand There," an edgy rock-house hybrid propelled by Circle's trademark percussive thunder. Elsewhere artists from cult label Italians Do it Better hold up the poppier side of things: Nite Jewel appears gauzed in intimate splendor, her "What Did He Say?" a hazy, lo-fi take on '80s club R&B ala Sheila E. IDIB mainstays Glass Candy get remixed by Swedish disco impresario Johan Agebjörn, a cunning match for certain, and the resulting version of Chameleon adds the grayest sliver of party vibes to an otherwise amazingly goth-black dirge: like seeing sunlight after being buried alive. The fact that such a tune can show up on a comp whose title implies hotel-ready lounge beats is a testament to Lo's grasp of cosmo/nu/beardo-whatever disco's impressively broad spectrum, and evidence that the scene—if you want to call it that—still has ideas to burn.
  • Tracklist
      CD1 01. Hatchback - Midnight Jogger 02. Pollyester - You Are Amen 03. Secret Circuit - Roll 04. Ghost Note - Pissed And Passed Out 05. Chilled By Nature - Otherness (Black Mustang's Frozen Moon Jam) 06. Gatto Fritto - Hungry Ghosts 07. Lukas Nystrand and The Ageema Blues - Knivar 08. Soft Circle - Don't Just Stand There (Eric Broucek Mix) 09. Black Devil Disco Club - Is Sorrow (Brain Machine's Lucifer Rising Dub) 10. Glass Candy - The Chameleon (John Agebjorn Remix) 11. CFCF - Raining Patterns CD2 01. Black Mustang / Kerrier District - Life's A Gas (Dub) 02. Soft Rocks - Leave Your Earth Behind 03. Pink Stallone - New Fate 04. Canyons - Big City Lights 05. Nite Jewel - What Did He Say 06. Expanding Head Band - Sound of Breaking Glass 07. Black Devil Disco Club - Free For The Girls (Richard Sen's Sumerian Fix) 08. Georges Vert - Jovan Freak (Rune Lindbaek's Nomaden Mix) 09. Chilled By Nature - Otherness (Windsurf's Golden Bear Dub) 10. Subway - Crystallin 11. Milky Globe / Sorcerer - Soft Sea