Special Disco Mention #25 – Frankie Knuckles
How could this week's Special Disco Mention be dedicated to anyone else? The news of Frankie's tragic, too soon passing has reverberated around our lives. He's one of the few people to have single-handedly recalibrated the path of modern culture, and his ascension to a better place is a blow for us Earth bound souls. Ransom Note contributor Miles Simpson has put together an incredible tribute to the man, and we're not sure we could add much more. Read his words here. We also asked Andy Blake and Dan Beaumont to give us some words on their favourite Knuckles track- as two of the UK's finest disco DJs and collectors they seemed appropriate choices –
There are so many to choose from but I'm going for Loose Ends – Hanging On A String (Frankie Knuckles Classic Club Reprise). It's beautiful, etherial, soulful and reeks of class. It's a DJ tool from the old school; rather than filling up a few spare inches of vinyl with leftover drums it teases out the song for maximum drama. Like all good club music it sounds other-worldly, full of space and benefits from being heard on a real soundsystem. I never met Frankie and I regret that now. He was someone who personified all the positive things about dance music, his generosity of spirit is practically audible in the mix.
For me I'm pretty sure it's the instrumental version of Tears. The vocal has never really done it for me, but fuck me that instrumental is one special piece of music. Everything a house record should be. Pointless describing why, just have a listen on youtube and if you don't get it then go and sit in a corner quietly and have a bit of word with yourself until you do. There's also a promo only percussion mix which rattles along with just the brilliantly programmed 707 parts for a couple of minutes, instigating all kinds of 'I know I know this but I can't quite place it' and 'wahay, I can't fucking wait' mindworms among those dancers who actually listen to the music, before that bassline finally shows up and one of those brilliantly understated knowing cheers ripples across the dancefloor and all is right with the world. Except Frankie's gone now, and so has our friend Pav. Both of them far too young and both leaving huge unfillable holes behind. Rest in peace guys, the world is a far better place because of the joy you brought with you. Love is the message and some things are very hard to take.