Ask most people about disco and they’ll strike a white polyester pose. The knee-jerk reaction is enough to drive true disco heads to relight the bonfire that burnt the mother down back in Chicago in 1979. Disco, as any music aficionado will tell you, is really just a live mix of jazz, funk, and soul. Even the Bee Gees, that hallowed trinity of blow-dried disco gentrifiers, has said that all they really wanted was to make good R&B.
Since disco’s demise and house music’s rise from its ashes, disco has enjoyed several connoisseur-fueled revivals led by everyone from New York’s Metro Area and DFA’s no-wave leaning upstarts to Scandinavia’s juggernaut Nu-Disco scene. Among the best of breed keeping the improvisational spirit of dance music alive are Transformer, a Brighton, U.K. trio turned quartet that name-checks all the right boxes from Larry Levan to A Certain Ratio…to Deepak Chopra?
“Deepak,” Transformer’s new single from its latest EP, aptly entitled ‘Feel the Beast,’ “is an homage to the Chicago clubs of the ‘80s where pioneers such as Ron Hardy looped disco and funk to create continuous grooves,” the band says. A collision of hi-hats, drum rolls, and chopped up vocals by new singer Roxy Section, “Deepak” steadily swirls into a vortex of deep, grungy house associated with the likes of Idjut Boys, Faze Action, and Crazy P(enis). Connecting the track to DJ culture’s pagan vibe, Transformer add, “[We] have blended early drum machines with live instrumentation and vocals for this atmospheric and almost spiritual sound.” “Deepak” sounds more like something that you’d spin and scissor-split to at a vogue ball than bliss out to in a sacred temple, but as Chopra himself might say, the lord works in mysterious ways.
Stream the premiere of Transformer’s “Deepak” below and prepare to get lifted. Transformer’s fourth EP, ‘Feel The Beast,’ is out London’s Numerology Records September 14th.