The goal of The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane, then, is to let a wider audience in on what vinyl hounds and soulful disco obsessives already know: Grusane is the truth. He began collecting records at 16, after his older brother brought him to Importes, Etc., the Windy City store that gave house music its name. He's ceaselessly looked for music ever since. "I have a rule when I find records—I play everything," he told the Chicago Reader. "If I'm digging, I'll drop a needle on every possible thing I put in my hands. I'll try to play every single record, because I don't want to miss anything." While his previous two compilations for BBE have showcased The Real Sound Of Chicago and beyond, Grusane's latest compilation comes as he takes more DJ gigs around the world.
The chance to present records that simply mean something to him rather than sticking to a geographical location (Chicago) or genre (underground disco, boogie) allows for a glimpse of Grusane's eccentric style. The one time I heard Grusane DJ, he dropped an absurd Chicago house track that sounded like a dot matrix printer going haywire over a banging 707. He'll play Chris & Cosey and Pitch's unclassifiable "What Am I Gonna Do For Fun" in sets. While he doesn't go that far off-piste here, there is some truly bizarre and awesome music on The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane. Daniele Patucchi's "Sacrifice" is a fuzz guitar jam with a crushing funk backbeat. The Island Music Makers' "Calypso Medley" is a steel drum-laden cover of a disco tune by a cruise ship band.
Grusane lightly edits most of these tracks, all of which are made to keep people dancing. His super rare, early-career edits of Africano and Macho appear here, as does a slightly sexed-up revision of the library musician Yan Tregger's "Riff On." These edits, though, are lovingly reverent to the originals. Take Brief Encounter's "What About Love." He makes a small but crucial change, extending the vocalist's plea—"Why don't you think about it, now"—from two to four bars, to devastating effect. As few of us have heard the originals, Grusane seems intent on letting obscure songs shine undiluted. He's a firm believer in a golden rule: "If a record is really good, you just don't mess with it."
Fri / 2 Mar 2018
01. Africano - Open Your Hearts (Mark Grusane Edit)
02. Semaj - All Should Be In All (Mark Grusane Edit)
03. Frank Pellico - Copa Cabana (Mark Grusane Edit)
04. Brief Encounter - What About Love (Mark Grusane Edit)
05. Choker Campbell - Carioca (Mark Grusane Edit)
06. Shabadoo - Do It (Mark Grusane Edit)
07. Daniele Patucchi - Sacrifice
08. Yan Tregger - Riff On (Mark Grusane Spend The Night Edit)
09. Jim Spencer - Moonlight Serenade (Mark Grusane Edit)
10. Macho - Mucho Macho (Mark Grusane Edit)
11. The Island Music Makers - Calypso Medley