The Redemption of Disco

I'm having trouble with the redemption of disco.

The long-awaited new Daft Punk album, RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY, certainly has a lot to do with it, but from where I'm standing the ball started rolling last year with Hot Chip's IN OUR HEADS. This is, of course, a purely personal evaluation; you may find enough disco element's in Royksopp's JUNIOR, or perhaps your definition of disco can encompass the sounds of LCD Soundsystem's 45:33. But for me, it wasn't until that Hot Chip album that I began to evaluate where I stood with disco, and it took a hell of a Daft Punk album to finally make me commit to a decision.

For us loathsome millenials, disco has long been the communal punching bag. We all developed different tastes and hates, but it was universal that disco was bad. It was awful high collar white suits, images of John Travolta pointing to the opposite corners of the room, "Disco Inferno" and our parents in awkward pictures. We could come around on all our other biases, but disco was the village idiot, never to be redeemed, a scar on music history reinforced by jokes on The Simpsons.

At the same time, I was a bassist, and disco was the last genre that let us feel important. Rock & roll had great bassists, but they were great because they used their talent to force themselves into notoriety. With disco, a good bass groove was necessity, not a luxury reserved for the cream of the crop. I thought of the genre as uncool, but even then I still had to learn "Play That Funky Music" and "Stayin' Alive." It was fun to do, but still, ultimately, the peak of uncoolness.

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