7.10.08

D11


To begin with, my apologies for the technical difficulties and for slagging off for the past couple of weeks. They've been busy -- but productive! -- I assure you. Hopefully there'll be some film pieces soon for you to enjoy.

I'm going to make it up to you today with a massive Boris Midney love fest.

Midney was a Russian national who did the bulk of his work in the States (more specifically, the Eras Studios). A ton of his stuff (both under his own name and aliases or for other bands) was put out on T.K. Production (a.k.a. T.K. Disco), so he was pretty high profile, although he somehow has only fallen under my radar recently.

Starting in the late-1970s (possibly with production work for One X One), Midney churned otu hit after hit well through the 1980s. Below are some of my favorites.

Double Discovery was a relatively large band that Midney assembled for one 12" ("Can He Find Another One?") in 1982. The two songs were arranged by, conducted by, and produced by Midney, but a whole pile of other folks were involved in its creation. (Double Discovery refers specifically to the female singers Midney brought together.) "Can He Find Another One?" is an addictive funk-based, slightly schlocky disco cut.

That's the thing about Midney that becomes very clear very soon after getting into his stuff: he was sort of cheesy. Take Companion, another group Midney was involved with in 1981, for example. The band released an LP, a 12", and a 7" (and then dissolved), and all of the songs are these horn-heavy, vocally-flamboyant epic odysseys into the worlds of funk, soul, disco, and gimmicky club hits. That being said, I love "This Is A Test." It's quintessential disco fodder -- take it as such.

Masquerade was another outfit Midney assembled, but back in 1979, so it's substantially smaller (just Midney and a few vocalists). The one and only LP Masquerade released, Pinocchio, is a swooning, almost ballad-like hodge-podge of sultry disco jams with a twist of Midney's trademark funk and orchestral schlock.

Midney also did plenty of stuff under his own name, but the one release that stands out most is 1980's Music From The Empire Strikes Back (I wish I knew more about this one since the film itself didn't come out until 1982). The four songs included on the 12" include "Yoda's Theme," "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)," "Han Solo and the Princess (Love Theme)," and "Star Wars (Main Theme)." Yeah, Midney was a huge dork, it seems. The songs are all funky and extended twists on The Empire Strikes Back's score, and while I don't really recommend listening to them all (they get a little tiresome) they're great examples of Midney's awesome production skills and sense of humor.

Last but certainly not least is U.S.A. - European Connection, a band that Midney kept around for a while (five years). The group's body of work represents some of Midney's crowning achievements. Many of the songs exploited 48-track recordings, and they tend to be really long, energetic, charismatic, and vibrant. If you get hooked on Midney, U.S.A. - European Connection is the stuff to pay the most attention to.

Anyway -- enough with my summarizing. Download the songs and boogie down!

Double Discovery - Can He Find Another One?

Companion - This Is A Test

Masquerade - Don't Leave Me Hanging

Boris Midney - Star Wars (Main Theme)

U.S.A. - European Connection - I'd Like to Get Closer

Buy it at Insound!

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