Various Mutant Disco Volume 3: Garage Sale

New York City’s club culture scene of the early ’80s was an era defined by sweaty dance floors, eccentric new wave style and the urgent persistence of the tightly tuned high-hat. Basically, it was exactly the same as it is today. And functioning at the centre of the Reagan-era’s booty-shaking days, supplying the music that clubs like Paradise Garage gained mythical status for playing, was the recently re-launched Ze Records, who have dug a little deeper into their disco-funk vaults to bring us these tasty compilations. Mutant Disco 3, the sequel to last year’s double-volume reissue of Ze’s classic 1981 compilation, is pretty much split between ultimately forgettable numbers and unearthed gold. Amongst its 77 minutes of motoring nostalgia, Garage Sale has everything from the Reagan-sampling Was (Not Was) track "Read My Lips” to the hammering beats of Don Armando’s "I’m An Indian, Too” to the breathy Mr. T homage of Junie Morrison’s "Techno-Freqs” and the so-current-sounding-it’s-scary remix of Cristina’s "What a Girl To Do.” The same goes for Undercover, which struts a campy cover version theme. Among the best moments here are Cristina’s killer cover of Michel Polnareff’s "La Poupee Qui Fait Non,” Coati Mundi’s Latin-flavoured take on Captain Beefheart’s "Tropical Hot Dog Night,” the Aural Exciters’ energised reading of Millie Small’s "My Boy Lollipop,” and Lisi’s disturbing cover of the old show-tune "Come Rain or Come Shine.” Kudos must be given to Ze for making sure these long gone tracks are not forgotten but ready and waiting to help make sure your next house-party lasts all night. (Ze)