New York disco and house temple the Paradise Garage, opened in 1977, is often considered the greatest club of all time. Its resident DJ, Larry Levan, perfected the role of DJ-as-shaman well before rave or EDM were glints in a dilated pupil. Every weekend until the Garage closed in 1987, Levan performed alchemical feats with a gargantuan, free-ranging assortment of vinyl, from classical etudes to the Clash and Talking Heads to his own beautifully teased-out 12-inch remixes of Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" and Inner Life's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Both are on this superbly chosen and sequenced two-CD compilation of Levan favorites – some he mixed, many he didn't – which captures the DJ's loose effervescence and flair for high drama. Dance culture as we know it today begins here.
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