For this installment of Secret Disco, I’m presenting notable bands on Y Records. Started by Dick O’ Dell in 1978 and based in Bristol, England, The Secret History of Disco describes Y Records as “twisting the dance floor into new shapes.” Cowbells seem to be the unifying element in all these songs.
Pulsallama-Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body
I thought I was over music like this but when it’s done well like this song from Pulsallama, the appeal of these quirky tracks is rediscovered. I love the steel drums and the way they wander around the atonal chorus and spoken lyrics.
Pulsallama was an avant-garde art band from New York and a part of the the burgeoning new wave scene. Ann Magnuson of Bongwater was once part of the group.
From the blog Bleeding Panda:
Pulsallama was a short-lived, yet legendary, 12 piece all-girl percussion band who ruled Manhattan nightlife for a brief period in 1981 and 1982. Their sound has been described as “13 girls fighting over a cowbell.” Pulsallama got a rave review in New Musical Express in which the reporter said he was “dancing, screaming and laughing, all at the same time!”
Pigbag-Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag
Another Y label hit, Papa’s Got a New Pigbag was one of the most awesome experimental post-punk, funk, dance-floor hit songs of the early 80s. The amazing bassline later gets heavily referenced by The Style Council in the song Precious.
Maximum Joy-Stretch (Discomix & Rap)
I often assumed this kind of music was just funky new wave. I had no idea it was being played in dance clubs, I was too young for those activities when these records were released.
We Are All Prostitutes-Pop Group
Pop Group: a few leaps into punk and a boogie into funk and then back into some experimental musical world of their own making, all accompanied by Situ/anarko lyrics.
Also, check out The Slits.