Working my way through the “Soul” section once again at hometown staple, Vintage Vinyl, I unexpectedly stumbled across this cosmic/tribal (I know, it sounds like these descriptors should be antagonistic, but trust me, it works oh so well) disco track by Instant Funk, “Bodyshine” mixed by Tee Scott. The first few bars lay down a crisp, dark groove, accented with sizzling a 4×4 hi-hat laid over a syrupy, popping bassline. Seeing as this single comes from the album Witch Doctor, one could imagine an entranced tribe moving in synch as the rhythm pounds and percolates through the night air. Then, as if taking a quantum leap towards the stars, the earthbound sounds are set ablaze with an incendiary synth that reaches higher and deeper than humanly possible. Now, enter the chant chorus, and the tribal/comsic marriage is complete. Rich in textures, flowing seamlessly from full arrangements to sparse breakdowns makes this track a compelling one that will surely keep your bodies shining through even the darkest hours of night.
In the case of this track, the mixer, Tee (Toraino) Scott, stands as almost more historically important than the artist. As the resident DJ at the legendary NYC club Better Days, he was responsible for not only popularizing the sounds and aesthetics of modern dance music, but also developing and crafting the role and techniques of the modern DJ. Without icons like Tee Scott, Larry Levan, Frankie Knucles, etc., there would be no 2720, no Upstairs Lounge, no Urban Lounge, no nightlife as we understand it. This piece of vinyl and its creator represent the birth of a culture, whose influence can be seen and felt on any given night of the week, yet garners little respect in most music circles today. Ok, that feels like enough history lecturing for now. Time to shine.