12 O'Clock Track: Sylvester's acid-disco masterpiece 'I Need Somebody to Love Tonight' | Bleader

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

12 O'Clock Track: Sylvester's acid-disco masterpiece 'I Need Somebody to Love Tonight'

Posted By on 05.20.14 at 12:00 PM

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Sylvesters album Stars: I Need Somebody to Love Tonight closes out the album.
  • Sylvester's album Stars: "I Need Somebody to Love Tonight" closes out the album.
Over the weekend I attended a wedding DJed by my friend and onetime neighbor Azikiwe, a dynamite disc jockey who also happens to design brilliant tapestries featuring rappers like Cam'ron juxtaposed against arcing dolphins. Azikiwe played a bunch of wedding-party standbys that are guaranteed to get a dance floor going (Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is the first song that comes to mind), but also dropped a couple cuts for the time of the night he calls "getting dark": when the crowd is so lost in the euphoria of dancing that the DJ can play out tracks the audience might be unfamiliar with. Of this block, one track came on that was so good I had to ask Azikiwe to reveal it to me. It was Sylvester's "I Need Somebody to Love Tonight," which I didn't realize was a Sylvester song because it toned down the more ostentatious elements of the departed disco singer's music. That doesn't mean the music isn't dense: produced by synth wizard and underrecognized genius Patrick Cowley, the song's repetitive synth-bass line, padded drums, and cosmic sound effects weave around each other in mesmerizing, midtempo fashion. Through the thickets and brambles of prickly synth sounds is Sylvester's aching, warbling vocal, a sound of longing that has an undeniable and unlikely resonance in the context of a wedding. What an odd, brilliant choice! Check it out for your noontime respite.

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