When you look up Miami on Wikipedia and you do a search for the word "cocaine," you will find nothing. As a native that has spent most of my life in, ahem, the Magic City, I am most definitely bored-to-fucking-death of your Scarface-themed man cave and/or ya day-glo "I'm in Miami Bitch" thongspenders.
But, you know, benzoylmethylecgonine (a.k.a. blow) has played (and continues to play) a major role in our fair Peninsular dingleberry. There are books and even movies about it. Musical genres have been founded on the basic premise that, yo, there is a lot of coke down here. Not to mention coke money.
So while I am loathe to put the often bleak, always surreal urban knock-knock joke that is Dade County through the same old hazing about yayo (a.k.a. California corn flakes), it would be equally unfair to try to pretend the stimulant has not played a role in the city whatsoever.
It is New Year's Eve 1978, but everyone is partying like its '99 even though Prince won't release that song for another four years. You can hear the music blasting as you drive up and down the block looking for parking on this residential block in Hialeah loaded with the vehicles of revelers. It sounds like there is a mid-morning game show roaring in the living room. As you get closer to the door, it sounds more like the soundtrack to disco line dancing. It sounds like there was a big budget, and a lot of players.
You open the door, and the record skips, both because there are so many feet stomping and because it's a record that gets played at every party, so it's been partied on extensively.
You are quickly absorbed into the mass of rhythmically writhing bodies.
That's you. Now, me? I'm hunched over in the corner looking at the back of the record sleeve trying to get a handle on what I'm hearing in my one good ear (the right one).
The mailing address listed on the sleeve is a few blocks away.
Though laden with a track per side, the length of each makes this slab less of an EP and more of album-oriented EP, something dependable you can drop the needle on and walk away from. The breakdown at 5:12 makes me realize there is more than mere disco at play here. At 9:32, a sublime muted guitar riff jumps into the mix and, oof, it hits the spot. This is a production. These are players. There are, like, 20 people on this record. This is music. ADM. Analog Dance Music.
The record ends, and the lack of sound in the wake of blaring creates a vacuum more powerful than the skeeted human chatter chuckling throughout the party. You hop over to the sound system and flip to the B-Side.
For liner notes and factoids re: the Amant 12'' featured in this post, as well as more deep cuts from South Florida check out the Deaf in the Left audio archive on Soundcloud.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!