However, it's perhaps Horse Meat's appearances at boutique festivals and clubs that's given the night its most exposure in the UK—turning swathes of unexpectant clubbers onto string-laden disco stompers at Secretsundaze, Glastonbury and Fabric. In every sense of the word Horse Meat Disco are at the forefront of the so-called disco revival. It is with much anticipation then, that the HMD posse drop their first compilation on Strut records.
Although you can regularly hear deep house, Italo, acid and early electro funk at any Horse Meat night; the sound that really optimises the club is soulful and often retro-tinged disco. So much so that the DJ's like Daniel Wang and Tim Sweeney completely tailor their sets towards the crowd and talk about (in Wang's words) "Horse Meat Disco classics that you can only get away with in that gay kind of setting."
While some disco aficionados tend to go for selections and edits that leave out the cheesy lyrics and overtly camp solos, Horse Meat's DJ's tend to leave them in. This is clearly displayed from the word go. Karen Jones' "Deetour" is a poppy psychedelic number that has none of the pump of a house track—at around 100 BPM, it's simply luscious funk filled disco.
The record is preceded by what has to be one of oddest openers to any compilation ever. A rambling phone message from a spangled Horse Meat Disco fan telling the tale of how he was abducted, post-party, by a "giant glass unicorn" and whisked off to see the ghost of Ron Hardy playing in a basement flat. To boot, the crazed but highly amusing ramblings are apparently genuine—giving you some idea the effect a Sunday night down The Eagle can have on some people.
From then on we are treated to a string of obscure but highly danceable disco records. Whether it's mid-tempo funk rarities (Empire Project Penny, Laura Greene) percussive Afro numbers (Eddie Drennon) or more Italo-influenced sounds (Ginno Soccio, Sheryl Lee Ralph), the mix never loses its groove despite focusing on "songs" rather than tracks or DJ tools.
As a set of deep disco cuts, this is an excellent selection. Few of the included tracks have been widely available on vinyl, digitally or even placed on compilations before. Whether you're an avid slave to the Horse Meat way of life or just a music fan looking to delve a little deeper into the disco sound, this compilation is a great place to start.