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    Home of LA Dance Music. MXNext Dance Music Lives Here

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Remembering: Larry Levan

todayMarch 19, 2024 4

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Larry Levan, born Lawrence Philpot on July 20, 1954, and departed from the world on November 8, 1992, remains an enduring legend, hailed as the originator of modern dance music. His illustrious career was synonymous with the iconic New York City nightclub, Paradise Garage, often dubbed the prototype of the modern dance club. Levan’s DJ sets at Paradise Garage were more than musical journeys; they were revered as “Saturday Mass,” creating a spiritual experience for his devoted followers.

Levan’s innovation extended beyond the turntables; he played a pivotal role in introducing the dub aesthetic into dance music. Collaborating with influential post-disco DJ Fran├žois Kevorkian, Levan delved into experimental realms, incorporating drum machines and synthesizers. This sonic exploration laid the foundation for the electronic, post-disco sound that foreshadowed the rise of house music.

His journey began alongside Frankie Knuckles at the Continental Baths, stepping into the shoes of The Gallery’s DJ, Nicky Siano. Influenced by Siano’s eclectic style and David Mancuso’s from The Loft, Levan’s DJing prowess flourished.

At the height of the disco boom, Levan secured a residency at Paradise Garage, defying expectations by attracting a diverse crowd of streetwise blacks, Latinos, and punks. Transitioning from DJ to prolific producer and mixer in the 1980s, Levan’s remixes and productions, including works with Lace, Gwen Guthrie, and the Peech Boys, left an indelible mark on national dance music charts.

Through his unparalleled residency at Paradise Garage, Larry Levan elevated DJing to an art form, leaving behind a legacy that continues to influence and inspire the ever-evolving landscape of dance music. His imprint on the history of dance music is undeniable, and the spirit of Larry Levan lives on in the beats that echo through the annals of time.

Written by: AdmX

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