Fri, Jan 27, 2012, 00:00

Voguing & the House Ballrrom Scene of New York City 1989-92 Soul Jazz****

Malcolm McLaren and Madonna may have brought voguing into the mainstream, but dancing, drag and catwalk prancing were all the rage in Harlem long before those two caught on. This double-CD compilation accompanies a spectacular book by photographer Chantal Regnault, capturing the wild scene at its zenith through portraits of such mainstays as Avis Pendavis, Carmen Xtravaganza and Dorian Corey. The music was rich, bitchy and colourful, a happy-clappy mix of glitterball disco, dancefloor anthems and tough, butch house. They’re all represented here, from the majestic thrust of Loose Joints’ Is It All Over My Faceand MFSB’s Love Is the Messageto harder-edged cuts from Nitro Deluxe, Armand Van Helden and Junior Vasquez. They sure don’t make scenes like that any more.

Download tracks: Loose Joints, Is It All Over My Face; Junior Vasquez, X; Diana Ross, Love Hangover