In the summer of 2011, my life was devoid of disco. I had just moved to L.A. after an admittedly bitter departure from San Francisco and although I easily adapted to traversing L.A. traffic I had yet to fall into a social circle that satisfied by ostentatious wanderlust. I wanted to get lost in warehouses, I just didn’t know how or where to begin. So I took to my shag carpet on morning, afternoon and evenings of self, wistfully dancing to Donna Summer reissues, Joey Negro gay anthems (ganthems, if you will) and borderline-manic funk tracks. I was somewhere between Betty Davis’ “Nasty Gal” & Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” when I suddenly got bored. Dreadfully, unassumingly bored. I had reverted to a disillusioned sense of musical nostalgia, which led me to solitude. What I needed was something new. What I needed to know is that somewhere out there, someone was disco dancing.
Thankfully, the disco gods intervened and pulled me from my stagnation. Metaphorically, literally, anatomically: it was time for me to start moving.
Enter The House of Disco.
It was one of those perfectly timed cliches. A friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend forwarded me a link to a blog that she thought I might enjoy. My obsession was instantaneous. Greg Wilson, Alphabet City, Space Ranger, Roberto Rodriguez – my new sonic family was dirty, rebellious, mischievous. They accompanied me on necessary solo drives down the PCH, to downtown jaunts and taco quests, and finally to those seedy all night disco masquerades I eventually made my home.
A trip to London was in my immediate future and I refused to let my month abroad be without a vice-laden, house-bathed, 24 hour spectacle. So I contacted label head David Magnier who invited me along on a Saturday afternoon-into-evening-into-morning. Who played? I can’t recall. Does it matter? Not really. The friendship with David withstood the blurry details of that night (I vaguely remember making out with a rather atrocious Russian), leading us into late 2013 when we chatted about the origins of The House of Disco outside the label’s new office space appropriately located parallel to Seth Troxler’s BBQ joint.
“I had a job where I had some free time. They weren’t really keeping me busy,” David detailed while sipping on a hot chocolate, “I got really into disco and then the blog began. It started taking on a different vain once I came across Soundcloud and all the free tracks on Soundcloud. It was all very disorganized so I started aggregating that a bit. It essentially began as a blog, then a free tracks blog, and then the label.”
With a loyal stream of followers, The House Of Disco began to expand beyond free tracks, eventually branding a definitive sound, “The label seemed like a logical next step. All these artists were putting out such a good music but none of it was being pressed on vinyl, which it should be. And then the events, and then the ad agency. We keep re-evaluating and seeing if anything needs to grow. It’s all been very organic.”
And disco? Was this longterm love affair in David’s genes? “I was not raised on disco at all. I was raised on a strict regime of dad rock.”
“I was not raised on disco at all. I was raised on a strict regime of dad rock.”
Armed with expansive musical knowledge of everything from power ballads to drum and bass, David eventually was indoctrinated into the disco brethren, “Disco was a dirty word for years. It still kind of is. People have a reappropriated view of disco. It used to be quite cheesy mainstream with bad dance moves and a bad fashion sense. There was a lot of mainstream crap getting in the way of the success of the better.” And The House of Disco aims to be “the better.”
A blog, a label, and a management agency: The House of Disco is spreading the gospel of dance one delicately crafted re-edit at a time with each release subject to David’s strict listening technique, “There are four ways you should always test music before you release it: your monitors, your headphones, your car, and then you got to play it out somewhere and gage the feedback. The latter is the only one of the four not based on your own perception with the music.” All four? Check. Welcome to The House of Disco.
3 years, countless all-nighters, and an endless backlog of artists with a knack for extremes: this has been my L.A. reality. I have circled through a martini & deep house phase, Berlin-techno-is-for-lovers phase, a if it isn’t Japanese don’t get it near me phase, and a voguing phase, and through it all The House of Disco has maintained certain relevancy proving that disco never goes out of fashion.
For more information on The House of Disco and upcoming events please visit http://www.thehouseofdisco.com/