In trading emails with Nick Sylvester of Godmode about the launch of the Faculty series, he shared a small, impossible to ignore detail about one of the contributors. Among the early contributions was a Japanese disco edit of Chiemi Manabe’s “Untotooku” by JAZ, the DJ moniker of an Episcopal minister from Charleston, South Carolina. I had to know more about an Episcopal minister that’s not only aware of Japanese disco, but arranges his own edits.
To help introduce JAZ to an audience beyond his humble scene in Charleston, the spiritual advisor of the dance floor has curated a mix that initiates those who have never attended his Off/Beat dance night with a fellow deejay known as Party Dad. JAZ explained the history of his night below:
My buddy, Party Dad, and I started a monthly dance party almost seven years ago, in a wonderful dive bar called The Upper Deck. Our intention was simple: we wanted to play records/music/genres that had never before been played in South Carolina. For us, that primarily meant weird stuff, mostly odd-ball disco, funk, and balearic stuff that was heavily tinged with electronics. For example, Frantz’s “Exhibition Tonight” (1983) is one of our main anthems. Most months we pick a theme for the evening: Italo, White Girl Rap, Post-Punk/New Wave, Cosmic Disco, Boogie, Loft classics… Over the years we built up a following of open-minded/ear-ed dancers, who came expecting to hear things with which they were not familiar. A year and a half ago, we upgraded to a new venue, The Faculty Lounge, which gave us a fresh gust of momentum and resulted in an official name for the night, “Off/Beat.” We play from the end of a very dark skinny room, filled with lasers and fog, and project video mixes made by Tommy Boy (from Dallas. He’s the former touring video guy for The Butthole Surfers), and the goal is to enable people to really get lost in the music and on the floor.
In recent months we’ve brought in some special guests to join us behind the decks, folks who I consider to be some of the very deepest-digging vinyl addicts on the East Coast. We’ve had Ryan Todd/Darklord, from Philly, one of the guys behind the Universal Cave label, and Sanky from NYC/London (of Eccentric edits). Sanky played crazy rare left-field cosmic 7’s all night and people went nuts! Last month, Curt Jackson from Atlanta (the man behind Rotating Souls records) came to town. He wowed us all night with an incredible assortment of Japanese Boogie records from the 80’s.
The more we push the conventional boundaries in Charleston’s music scene, the more the positive response seems to grow, so we’re just thrilled! This mix is sort of a truncated sampling of the kind of stuff we play over the course of the first few hours at an Off/Beat party. It features a bunch of my all-time favorites (including music from Italy, Japan, Germany,France, the UK, Canada, and even the USA). While many of the tracks are heavily edited, they all come from records made between 1978-1986, which is basically where the bulk of my collection beds down. We typically start slow and weird, and slowly build up the bpms. Off/Beat is the first Friday of each month, so plan a trip to Charleston soon, and make sure you book for the first weekend of the month as we would love to see you. Just ring the bell.
“Cosmic Disco for the Uninitiated Mix” tracklisting:
01 Baffo Banfi, “The Incredible Doogy”
02 Sandii & the Sunsetz, “An Antenna”
03 Eiskalte Engel, “R.O.M.” (Nixxon remix)
04 Moral Support, “Living with Passion”
05 Paul Vincent, “Der Computer”
06 Flyer, “Wanna Get Back Your Love”
07 David Appel Group, “Feeling Fire”
08 Chiemi Manabe, “Untotooku” (JAZ edit)
09 Plastic Mode, “A Jazzy Woman”
10 Pink Rhythm, “India” (instrumental)
11 Kinkina, “Jungle Fever” (UK Megamix)
12 Straight Shooter, “Frame of Mind” (SPVF edit)
13 Adrian Gurvitz, “New World”
14 Body-Talkin’ Holiday (JAZ edit)
15 Show Me Love (JAZ edit)
16 Not Knight Rider (JAZ edit)
17 Herbie Hancock, “The Twilight Clone”
18 John Paul Jones, “Bad Child” (JAZ & Party Dad edit)
19 Umo Vogue, “Just My Love”
20 Liza Mancini, “A Summer Night”
21 Sequen-Sync, “All Night Long”
22 Space Love (JAZ edit)
23 Seaboard Coastliners, “Dance Dance All Night Long”
24 Maker 11 (JAZ edit)