Asphixiation: Aural Risk

Premiering on Stereogum—despite having been recorded in 1980—Asphixiation’s “Aural Risk” is an art project worth paying attention to. Created by Philip Brophy (of experimental group → ↑ →) Asphixiation was a performance art creation in which Brophy recorded an entire disco album called What Is This Thing Called “Disco”? and had a fake band perform it. Chapter Music is reissuing the album for the first …

Sister Sledge: We Are Family

Today the sad news emerged that Sister Sledge member Joni Sledge passed away. While the disco outfit had plenty of hits (from “He’s the Greatest Dancer” to “Lost in the Music”), there’s little doubt their best-loved tune is the positively charged “We Are Family.” The 1979 track was the first that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards ever wrote for another band, and the sisters didn’t …

America’s Last Disco Ball-Maker

Starting with an aluminum sphere (some as large as a whopping 10 feet in diameter), Yolanda Baker makes disco balls by hand, a craft she has perfected over almost 50 years. While the disco ball boom dropped off—thanks to cheaper, overseas options becoming available, Baker (known as Yo Yo) is America’s last disco queen. During the zenith of Studio 54, flares and doing The Hustle, …