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Christmas has come a little early for Arthur Russell enthusiasts with this dazzling deluxe 4LP set in a hand silk-screened box printed in red and metallic silver inks. The set expands 1981's '24-->24' album to include remixes and rare versions, while the third and fourth discs collect additional tracks for the artists own Sleeping Bag label (which also released classics from the likes of EPMD, Joyce Sims, Mantronix etc.) which were released under various pseudonyms and collaborations: Bonzo Goes To Washington, Felix, Sounds Of JHS 126 Brooklyn, and Indian Ocean. The set showcase's hugely influential tracks that were spun by the likes of Larry Levan at the legendary Paradise Garage. Russell's innovative disco productions are often shadowed by his later productions, but those in the know are fully aware of the impact these tunes have had on contemporary dance music. Tracks like 'Go Bang!' have been sampled numerous times and was hugely influential on early House producers. The Todd Terry Project's 'Bango (To The Bat Mobile)' from 1988 is just one example. Hailed as a house classic, I'm fairly sure a lot of people that adore the record are probably not aware Terry was sampling Russell's stuff. The Latin funk rhythms and thick bass grooves are still as infectious today as I'm sure they were when they were first created. I dare you to find a better snapshot of seminal underground US disco that absorbs and re-contextualises the vibrant multicultural influences of New York city. Comes with linear notes by Russells biographer, unpublished photographs, original artwork etc. Oh and Walter Gibbon's rare remix of 'Go Bang! is in there too.
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- The Definitive Sleeping Bag Recordings by Arthur Russell / Dinosaur L
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