Rocksteady Disco, a boutique record label and party founded in 2014 by Peter Croce, is throwing a release party for artist and Fat Finger Cosmic head Blair French. In celebration of the new tunes, Rocksteady Disco will present a effervescent album release party headlined by Rafael Cancian (About Disco Records) of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Label head Croce and artist Blair French breakdown a special preview of the night’s highlights and the lowdown on French’s “aural odyssey” of a record.
Released on June 6, 2017 “RSD006 // Standing Still Is An Illusion” is a 12” vinyl we dare you to try to stand still to. Speckled with notable musicians like Paul Randolph (Jazzanova/Mahogani Music) Ryan Gimpert (Will Sessions) and Topher Horn of Rocksteady Disco, the album packs dynamic and danceable Afrobeat, Deep House and Afro-Brazilian sounds all into three tracks. Calling the album a “spirit ride,” Blair French explains, “The song [Standing Still…] was made during a shift of focus. Things appear quiet when that happens, but [that] is also when something is brewing.” French credits Peter Croce, Topher Horn, Paul Randolph, Ryan Gimpert, Ponchartrain, Arche, Fit and Pacific Beach for help bringing this project to life. From the tireless drums and basslines, to the sizzling cymbals and chanting vocals- this album is a celebration of dance, culture and musicianship.
Disco dignitary Peter Croce is enthused for the label’s newest release,
“There are many exciting things about Blair’s new release on Rocksteady Disco. Musically, it’s absolutely top notch. I want to play all three cuts loudly, all the time, because the songwriting and compositions are just so right. But in addition to that, this is Blair’s first proper dance 12″. Blair’s been producing really incredible music for over a decade, most recently with sounds in the ambient / Balearic realm. Before that, it was hip-hop and beat driven stuff. This release melds his hip-hop influenced MPC-style production techniques, but its re-imagined in a new way for a much different audience. The results are sublime.”
This event will feature an original mix of local and visiting talent, with headliner Raphael Cancian making his second visit to Detroit to headline the show. Croce delves in:
For better or for worse, I’m a music nerd to the deepest fiber of my being, and I can say the same about Blair and Rafael. Blair is quite the visual artist too, but when he gets behind the decks it’s strictly about musicality. So, first and foremost people should be excited that we’ll be pumping high-quality music through Marble Bar’s quality sound system. I had [Cancian] through last summer and he crushed it. It was so epic that a Reddit thread in /r/detroit even spun out of it. And in the last year, since Rafael was in Detroit, he had a European tour and played some festivals in South America alongside Selvagem, Azymuth, Deodato, Red Greg, and more. Detroiters know Blair since he’s been doing music for so long- but honestly, Blair has come to his own as a dance DJ in the last year alone in really incredible ways. He blew my socks off with his Introducing mix for RSD.
(Visual by Blair French)
Blair’s newest release is the eighth release from the label. In analyzing how “Standing Still Is An Illusion” resonates with the rest of the music put forth by Rocksteady Disco, Croce explains:
Blair’s release signals the sonic direction that the label continues to go in. It’s our 8th record, and I can’t help but feel like each release gets better and better (even though I love our entire catalogue!). The title track is a full on 9 minute suite of music; it could’ve been chopped into 3 parts on the vinyl really. The flip side is no-nonsense world beat dance floor music. And while Afro-Brazilian sounds continue to be more popular in the west, I think Blair took it to a whole new level. Our next release (by myself) follows a similar vein: a more US sounding house cut on the a-side followed by some world beat cuts on the flip. Blair’s record more or less defines our DJ sets, and even the music we listen to when we’re not DJ’ing.
The release party will take place at hot spot, The Marble Bar. Attendees’ ears are sure to be engulfed by invigorating South American flavor but Rocksteady Disco also plans to cater to the taste buds with a release party pop-up by Bill Knapp’s Taco Stand. As far as the overall vibe of the event goes, Croce describes that this release party will stick to business as usual:
Our parties have always focused on the music, all killer no filler…the overarching vibe is to come as you are. We purposefully try to bring people together from all ages, races, scenes, sexualities, and more. We try our hardest to make the dance floor the beloved community. Our roots come from Detroit soundsystem culture, but our musical influences are drawn from soundsystems around the world. We play a whole lot of music from Detroit, Chicago and New York, but also tons of music from Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya; Brazil, Cuba, and Colombia; even India and Japan. Rocksteady Disco makes and plays music for humans at the end of the day.
Warm up those hips and bring your dancing shoes to The Marble Bar on Friday, June 9 to celebrate with Blair French and the Rocksteady Disco team.
Tickets available here.