"Horse Meat Disco" Compilation Lives Up to Its Name

Various Artists, Horse Meat Disco (Strut)

It's hard to think of a better appellation for a gay dance club than Horse Meat Disco. This compilation, designed to mirror the experience of being at the London hot spot, fulfills all the promises of the name. Resident DJs James Hillard, Jim Stanton, Severino, and Luke Howard canter into the endless seas of vinyl and trot out with a continuous mix that's funky and fabulous and struts like it's packing. Deliberately eschewing the better known hits that usually end up on disco comps, the collective instead opts for tracks like Karen Young's burping, soaring "Deetour," or Empire Projecting Penny's "Freakman," the latter of which proves once and for all that disco and Beat Street were never more than a single 6-step apart. My favorite moments on the album, though, have to be the transitions—the sinuous way the manic electro-bleeps of the Two Tons' "I Depend on You" sneak up on Gino Soccio's more sedately paced "It's Alright," or the virtuosic, beat-to-beat switch from TJM's "Put Yourself in My Place" to the Richard Hewson Orchestra's "Love Bite." Completists need not fear, however; a second disc includes the complete, unmixed version of most of the tracks, so you won't miss the melodramatic slow Broadway introduction to Plaza's "(Got My) Dancing Shoes" or the long tail of breakbeats that ends K.I.D.'s "Hupendi Muziki Wangu? (You Don't Like My Music?)" In short, whether you like your horse meat uncut or skillfully manipulated, you'll walk away from this comp with a smile on your face and a wriggle in your butt.