Increasingly essential New York City dance music DIY label Sorry Records teamed up with DJ/producer and “dance music historian” Chrissy (Hooversound, Pets Recordings, Dansu Discs) and Lisbon-based DJ/producer/vocalist Maria Amor (Paraíso, Naivety) for the debut of their new project Community Theater — a technicolor ode to vocal freestyle, electro, and semi-forgotten strains of club-oriented dance-pop. Sorry Records’s first-ever physical release — Having Everything EP delivers four stellar original vocal club tracks alongside standout remixes from Naive head Violet, Sorry Records family Escaflowne, LA rave queen Bianca Oblivion, and Portuguese producer/visual artist Shcuro. Taking freestyle nostalgia into the modern world via digital and cassingle tape release, Community Theater’s Having Everything EP provides a supremely pleasurable and much-needed perspective to the way we look backward at the club sounds of the 1980s. Bolting Bits is happy to share the premiere for Violet’s remix of the title track.
Simultaneously bringing the sort of energy you’d expect to be bumping out of a native New Yorker’s minivan as they cruise through Bay Ridge, Having Everything EP manages to create a special sonic embodiment of all things ADIDAS tracksuit… a manic combo of genre and attitude that evoked the energy of NYC in the 80s. Right out the gate, “Let Me Party” channels Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with a forlorn party anthem that encourages us to put off our problems and just give in to hedonistic dancefloor abandon. The title track proceeds in a more modern way though. An intense driving bassline matches an aggressive vibe and lyrics about something that everyone can rally against — trust fund kids.
Having Everything certainly has a lot! The b side originals “The Same Place” and “Another Of Me” deeply channel a sort of funky upbeat Chemical Plant Zone feel that relieves the tension of the title track and soothes in its energetic glee. As “Another Of Me” channels goofy disco vanity, “The Same Place” lays down the funk, evoking a bit of Michael Jackson even, whilst bringing the vocals forward a couple years.
Remix duty falls on Escaflowne, Bianca Oblivion, Violet, and Shcuro who are dutifully and excellently on brand. Escaflowne keeps the tracksuit on but tosses “Let Me Party” across the pond, putting forth a stellar 2-step UKG treatment. Bianca Oblivion busts out the cardboard for a fantastic breakin’ electro remix of “Another of Me.” On the Lisbon end of things — Violet and Shcuro abstract their entries a bit with the Naive label head creating a pumping gothic rendition of “Having Everything,” as Shcuro (who designed the artwork of the release as well) provide a sort of ambient acid electro take on “The Same Place.”
A stellar release from Sorry Records that hopefully stands as an excellent and much-needed kick-off to the forthcoming 80s freestyle revival. Get your hands on a copy here!
Review by/ Jacob Nelsen-Epstein