Dinosaur L 24 -> 24 Music

Issued on CD for the first time, Arthur Russell's only album using the Dinosaur L moniker is further testament that the late artist was a man working to his own beat. Recorded in 1979 and released three years later on Sleeping Bag, which he co-founded with associate William Socolov, 24 -> 24 Music missed out on disco's highlife yet found its groove on the dance floor of clubs such as Paradise Garage, thanks to Larry Levan. Featuring the Ingram Brothers as the rhythm section, Russell's vision for the album was to push Dinosaur L's beats every 24 bars to allow the various players to improvise and feed off the odd directions of the grooves. As much as this is disco, it's also very much an experiment in haphazard avant-garde; Russell composed and directed the sessions but other than establishing a rhythm, it feels like an all-out food fight between the musicians. "#3 (In the Corn Belt)" builds a pretty solid punk funk cadence that's blasted out of nowhere by a meaty operatic vocal yelling "Coooooorn!" and even the more systematic dance floor vibe of "#5 (Go Bang!)" can't give in to conventional wisdom, rupturing and spilling all over kinky organ riffing and unruly time-keeping. For a bonus, Francois K's remix of the song, as well as Levan's turn at "In the Cornbelt," are tacked on to provide some insight into where Russell's direction could lead to with some club guidance. As a musician who followed no guidelines and lived with no boundaries, Dinosaur L were essentially as controlled as Russell got, but that said, there's little to the beautiful chaos of 24 -> 24 Music's groove that suffers from any sort of restraint. (Sleeping Bag/Traffic)