Let’s be honest here: Disco died on a windy night in Comiskey Park, Chicago, in 1979. As part of a Chicago White Sox promotion, “Disco Demolition Night” was basically a riot of white folks incited by shock jock Steve Dahl into destroying black music through an explosive bonfire of records.
What started as a funny concept of Rock vs Disco became something far bigger, and it ushered the transfer of power in the popular music scene between Black and Latino funky club kids and their more sun-averse, as of yet to be conceived, New Wave counterparts.
The veneration of the DJ introduced in the Disco era never left, but the perfect storm of suburban kid access to drugs, racial tensions, and the advent of a brand new, all-white MTV, lead to a cultural “clash” marked by neon hair and studded jackets; simple, hard percussions, skinny jeans, patches, black stomping boots, synthesizers and Lo-Fi visuals.
Soon, unbeknownst to anyone, from the ashes of Disco would rise House music and the word “Rave” would be on everyone’s tongues, along with a hit of acid or extasy… But that’s a story for another day, because right now, we’re concerned with the storm, and what it created. That electrical flash in the pan when everything came to a head. I believe it was in this climate of wild abandon and overlap that Montreal’s very own Franky Selector chose his groove.
A multi-instrumentalist/DJ of note, Selector’s been taking notes with greats like Kool and the Gang and Ben Harper for years while touring across the globe honing an organic sound. It’s a welcome throwback to the pre-digital days of instrumentation, a little gritty, a little raw.
Franky is a proud Montrealer and ambassador of our local scene’s traditions, and idiosyncrasies, he vibes like we do, with his ear to the streets and a synthesis of sounds and influences from all over the place; whether it’s touching on Afro-Cuban lows, or Jazz highs or if he’s taking cues from Miami or New York, underneath it all, Montreal is ever present.
So what can be said of Selector’s 4th self-released album, the upcoming Never Better which debuts October 16th in this surreal year of 2020? Not a whole lot, because it speaks for itself, and the little it says, it does so with confidence. This is a bit of a minimalist mix-bag, purely musical, with very little lyrical content.
Now, as an avid karaoke fiend, I’m a fan of the occasional vocal flights, but this just ain’t the scene for that kind of thing. This is a DJ’s domain, and his set is tight, funky, groovy orchestral, organic, and kind of cool. The sounds feel real, tangible, tactile and careful, and each track floats along briskly without too much embellishment.
The title track Never Better feels like the progeny of an 80’s spirit raised on Soul Train and adult easy listenings. It’s smooth on your ears, and makes for great background music if you’re hosting a low-key, all generation, all genre evening and trying to avoid any controversy.
It might not get the party bumping and grinding, but it won’t get in the way either. Your aunt won’t toss her bra aside and kick off her heels swearing she “hasn’t danced like this in ages” before falling flat on her ass after attempting an impromptu dance move while giggling like a school girl, but then again, who wants that?
Disco might’ve died right around the dawning of the 80’s, but Franky Selector fixed all that, and you can hear it in the mix, for yourself, October 16th, online, everywhere music is sold.
For those who still carry a torch for the soul influenced melodic mixes of yore, Franky Selector carries the flame proudly.
Franky Selector Links
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Writer, Director, Camera Op, Editor & Professional "Last Man Standing". Is there anything this guy can't do? Yes. A veritable metric f*ck ton of things, so he sticks to what he knows. Join him on some adventures, here, at Best Kept MTL.