Keith Haring was one of the coolest New Yorkers ever. In the space of little more than a decade, Keith created a body of work that appears minimalist but expresses a breadth of universal concepts - birth, death, sex, absurdity - and their endless intersections. He was a Warhol in touch with his soul, bringing the aesthetics of graffiti and street art to the galleries and masses alike. He was a true product of his environment in addition to an active participant, rubbing elbows with the who’s-who of Downtown NYC. Basquiat, Madonna, Fab Five Freddy, Yoko Ono, William Burroughs, Jenny Holzer - damn, what a crew. Music played an important role in Keith’s process, from the constant loop of Devo and B-52’s in his studio to his total engrossment in the early days of Hip Hop / B-Boy culture. He was forever changed the first time he went to the Paradise Garage - “Larry Levan was the DJ there and he was like a god in the DJ booth. I was totally mesmerized.” This compilation collects music that inspired him, much of it made by his downtown NYC contemporaries. “Danger” is culled from the OOP debut LP by Athens, GA post-punkers Pylon, low-slung bass rumble and too-cool-for-school vocals. “Bump And Grind It” is a straightforward hi-NRG/electro cut by cabaret performer / performance artist John Sex, shouted vocals over cleanly sequenced instrumentation. “Over and Over (12” Mix)” is a funky disco cut from the master of falsetto, sweeping strings and chipper guitar. “Cut It Up High Priest” by Gray is woozy punk-funk that features fellow mark-marker Basquiat. “Weekend (Larry Levan Mix)” is a spiritual centerpiece of this collection - throbbing synth bass, gated synthesizers, and jubilant vocals. This triple LP set includes printed inner sleeves with detailed liner notes and rare photographs and has been approved by the Keith Haring foundation. This version comes with a bonus 7" featuring two tracks by The Girls. Highly recommended.
- triple black vinyl pressing
- includes bonus 7" with two extra tracks by The Girls
- includes detailed liner notes with essay and photos
- limited edition
- music label: Soul Jazz Records 2019
reviewed by ST MARKS HOTEL 07/2019