Tropical Disco Hustle: Highlighting The Disco Era in Trinidad + Beyond


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Joanne Wilson

While disco records filtered down to the islands, back in New York, John found that the Caribbean community was largely isolated from the disco scene that had gripped black, and eventually white, culture. “I didn’t meet a lot of West Indians at disco clubs, mostly Americans” he said. “I was always one to search out beyond the basement parties, where it was always a Jamaican playing reggae, or a Trini playing calypso, or a Bajan playing spouge.” John recalled a memorable night spent at Studio 54: “There were so many glaring, spinning lights. It was like the first time I entered New York City and went down to Times Square at night and was in awe.”

For Deano Sounds, the head and founder of Cultures of Soul, the concept for Tropical Disco Hustle began with a bootleg compilation of Caribbean disco he heard a decade ago. An avid vinyl collector, he kept an ear out for more gems from the era until he amassed enough for a compilation of his own. “I was surprised there’s so much material out there, [and] how much of it was great. Any house or disco DJ could play this stuff.”

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