Loft Parties

  • Africa gets real funky - Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa,1973

     Manu Dibango Soul Makossa - What a tune

    The Continent of Africa didn't seemed to be getting its fair share of the Music Media press when it came to Pop/Dance/Black music within the past. However, that was to change this song came out during the year of 1972 which changed everything. The song in question is known as "Soul Makossa"

    At the (March 2015) time I was busy spring cleaning the House down, and had the radio on. I was getting through my house hold chores when the Dj on the radio put on the track in question that generated a smile on my face.

    I raced upstairs to my attic as that's where I still keep my vinyl; to see if I had myself.purchased the song myself. I had done, but, and it is a big but; it was on one of those compilation albums. Not the actual single release.

    The song had really captivated my soul and put a spring in my step as I was cleaning down the House and hearing the track on that radio show. So I have decided to write a article about it.

    The music of Funk was headed by the Worlds Number One, Soul Brother which is (James Brown); who at that time was conquering the world with this brand music.

    However, the continent of Africa return the compliment themselves with this funky groove of their own.

    The person in question that created such a single was no other than Emmanuel "Manu" N'Djoké Dibango. (Born 12th December, 1933). He is a Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. His father was a member of the Yabassi ethnic group, though his mother was a Duala. He is best known for his 1972 single "Soul Makossa". -

    The song was composed for occasion of the 1972 African Nation Cup and become an anthem during the rest of the competition. However, the Cameroon team got knocked out of the competition, and the become lost for some time.

    The song managed to gained mass appeal once again this time on a worldwide basis during the year of 1972, when the New York legendary Dj, who is David Mancuso. Found a copy of the track within a West Indian record store based in Brooklyn, New York, Usa.  From hearing it himself and falling in love with the track himself. David played it as often as he could during his parties (Loft Parties).

    The response to the song led to people searching feverously for it, and the few copies that were found were purchased immediately.

    Whenever it was dropped on Dance floors within in New York it lead to "dance battles" on the dance floors within that city. Blacks, Italians, Latin's, whites couldn't get enough of this groove and all of the wanted to strut their stuff when this monster tune came on.

    The song that is "Soul Makossa" eventually got heard by New Yorks premier Black Radio DJ at the time which was Frankie Crocker. He was the top Radio/Dj at the time on the station that was WBLS (New York City). Once Frankie started playing this on his show the song was on every ones lips.

    It is one of the records that has been labeled as being one of the first Disco Records ever made. But for me it isn't a Disco record its self. For me it is pure Funk. However, at the time this type of record could only be heard playing out within a public place within Disco's. In fact many music critic's state that either Barry White or Issac Hayes made the 1st ever Disco records.

    Since it original release was so obscure so many versions came out on a number of different record labels. Apparently around 23 different record labels could be found that had their own version of the song! So was the demand for the tune.

    During 1972, the label called Atlantic Records eventually licensed the original pressing of the song on the French label called Fiesta, Atlantic records released the single as two song single with the single called "Lily" being on the B-side.

    The single would peak at #35 on the US BILLBOARD HOT 100chart in 1973; at one point, nine different versions of the song were on the USBillboardHot 100 chart at the same time.The song would also become an international hit leading to even more cover versions by various groups around the world. (Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark (2000).World Music: The Rough Guide. p. 441.)

    The song gained even more populance in modern times, the song was used in two song by major artists. These artists are Michael Jackson within his song called "Wanna be starting something"1993 and Rihanna's "Don't stop the music".

    The vocal sample orchanted vocal "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa", that is present in Soul Makossa was used within Michael Jackson's -"Wanna be starting something"1993, and Rihanna sampled the same part of the Michael Jackson song which he used for his own "Wanna be starting something" track.

    Michael Jacksons Wanna Be Startin - A GREAT TUNE

    In 2009, Manu Dibango filed a lawsuit against Rihanna and Michael Jackson claiming that both of them had used the "Hook" -"ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa" - without his permission.

    Rhianna -Dont stop the music - Another big hit for Rhianna

    Michael Jackson admitted that he borrowed the line and settled the case with Dibango out of Court. However, when Rihanna asked Michael Jackson if she could use the same hook from his track that is "Wanna be starting something", he approved that she could use it without remembering to contactManu Dibango.

    Dibango lawyers took the case to court (Paris Court) , demanding 500,000 Euros in damages that should have been paid by Sony BMI,EMI and Warner until the issue was resolved.

    As you have been reading there is lot of history within the song. But one thing is for sure. It will never die. Its just too funky.

     Well that all folks for me now anyway.

    Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

    Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show ©


  • David Mancuso has left us but he gave New York City something to look back on....

    A mural dedicated to the New York City, Usa Dj David Mancuso famoius for his Loft style parties in the 1970's

    This maybe old news to you now. However, it seems that the curse of 2016 has taken away another musical giant in the form of Dj David Mancuso.2106 has taken away so many music and film legends that many of us now can't wait for 2016 to finish.

    The News has spread like wildfire right around the world since it was announced that David Mancuso has died - on the 15th Nov, 2016The cause of death is still not known at the moment.

    My first knowledge of David Mancuso was not actually meeting the man himself. In fact I have never met him in my life.

    It was only after meeting another Dj that schooled me about him that I decided after our "meet" to read up and find out more about the man and the legend. 

    The person that schooled me about him was - Colleen Murphy  - Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy -  She is from the Usa. The City of Boston, Usa to be pricise. 

     Colleen Murphy who schooled me in regards tot her knowledge and experiences with David Mancuso all those years ago

     "Cosmo" being her nickname was asked down by myself to my home town (Ipswich Town, England).It was in order for her to play a few tunes; and at the same time to be interviewed over the airwaves (Radio broadcasting airairwave) about her love of music; and how she got into it within the first place; and djing.

    It was via this meeting with Colleen, that I got to learn about David Mancuso from her recollections and she had seen and learntwhilst being around his company.And what David meant to New York city, and their underground dance culture in general there - Info on Colleen Murphy

    This and more knowledge gained from my research led me into watching the movie called "Maestro" which was released in Feb, 2003. This Movie Documentary gave us a basic understanding of New York;and its underground dance culture during the 1970's to 1980's.

    At the time I was even sent a special premier ticket  during 2003 to watch the Ist viewing of the Film that is  "Maestro" within - - London, England.


     And via watching this movie  learned even more about David Mancuso,Nicky Siano, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and others about what it meant to have live in those times, and also to "party" within those times.

    This film gives almost as much credit for the creation of the scene via David Mancuso, Loft Parties, the long-running private club famous for its intimate, living-room atmosphere and brilliant sound engineering; right through to Larry Levan and the club that made him world famous - The Paradise Garage, King Street, New York, Usa

    However, it must be said that Mr Mancuso was basicially known for his parties that he helped start up within the city of New York during the 1970's.David Mancuso was born in Utica, New York, during the year of 1944.

    David Mancuso behind the decks doing what he liked doing best 

    However, things began to gell for him after he moved to New York City in 1962. It was there that Mancuso rented a loft at 647 Broadway near Bleecker Street,New York, Usa.

    The size of the space allowed him to purchase two Klipschhorn loudspeakers, which he paired up with McIntosh amps and two turntables.

    David Mancuso adds,

    "During this time, I would go out to rent parties. They were at someone's apartment, or somebody would throw an event, and it would be just to raise money for the rent.So I had this loft space on Broadway and in order to pay rent, I threw some parties between '65 and '70. It worked out really well.About half-a-dozen of them happened over that five-year period of time, even though I always say The Loft started in 1970". -

    The first official "The Loft" party, we now know was held on February 14th, 1970and was called "Love Saves The Day". This eventually became a regular Saturday night event, starting around midnight and running until the morning.

    Mancusoalso avoided using the pitch control on the turntables that were at this event,  to match the musician's vision as opposed to the DJ's ego of how it should be delievered to the audience.

    Famously, records were not mixed atThe Loft. He wanted his audience to appreciate the music when it was made, and then recording via the music studios. He didn't want or allow for the music to be "Mixed" within these parties.

    They had to be played from start to finish. No beat mixing. The point being was that he wanted for his audience to have deep emotional experience with the music that was being played; as opposed to having the DJs’ egos contolling what you heard. Also there was no food or liguor sold at his parties. If anything it was given out to his audience.

    The likes of François K, Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, Nicky Siano and David Morales were regulars at The Loft,which eventually led Mancuso to establish the New York Record Pool,acquiring promos from record labels for the qualified DJs in his circle.

    Mancuso started up this pool after moving his operations to 99 Prince Street in SoHo, New York City, USA.

    He ran this pool as a non-profit operation until 1978 before deciding to refocus on the parties and handing the DJ's record network over to Judy Weinstein.

    He continued to host The Loft on Prince Street until 1985, when skyrocketing real estate forced him into Alphabet City, within New York City,Usa

    In the 1990s, reasonably priced downtown spaces became so scarce that he began to tour, limiting the NYC events to four to six a year.

    Mancuso speaking with Disco Music, stated:

    "I can't find the space and I don't have the resources like I used to… I've had offers that you can't believe, but there are catches to them and I can't give in to them.I'd rather take the subway and do without the Mercedes-Benz.

    I've known some of my guests for more than 25 years and I can't go away from that. The Loft parties are very personal, intimate thing. It's the thing that keeps me going in life."

    David Mancuso explaining himself below about the Loft Parties , etc, etc...

    Tributes from all over the world that have only just learned about his death are equally shocked.

    1. Kevin Saunderson (@kevinsaunderson) _ Twitter - "I went to The Loft in Spanish Harlem as a youth, 1st time I heard "Supernature". We owe so much - nov 15,2016

    2.Dimitri from Paris - @DimitriParis - If you don't know who David Mancuso was, do yourself a favor & go beyond 140 signs. Look him up, find out how essential his contribution was - nov 15,2016

    3. Greg Wilson - @djgregwilsonHere's a piece I wrote about David Mancuso in 2003, highlighting how the great man connected psychedelia and disco: - -nov 15,2016

    4. Questlove Gomez - @questloveNew York Legend. Without Whom. NONE of this is possible. Salute the Gawd- nov 15,2016

    Its another sad day within 2016. Yes people die every day. Thats a fact. However, it just seems that some of the people that we lose or have lost makes think on how a great contribution that they made whilst they were alive.

    These peoples made you want to get out of bed to face another day. We have just lost another such person that made you want to get out of bed and face another day......

    Well that all folks for me now anyway.

    Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

    Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show ©