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

January 5, 2015

Leroy Sibbles a.k.a. Prince Blackman

It’s an archive that other diggers have also been culling—see Toronto’s Invisible City, and their 2012 mixtape, Possibility of an Island. As a record label, Cultures of Soul took the rediscovery approach one step further by properly licensing all the tracks. That process led Deano to Charlie’s Calypso City, a record store and recording studio on Fulton Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, that boasted a thriving record label during the ’70s and ’80s. It proved a particularly reliable source of quality material. “Anything that had a Charlie’s Records sticker, I pulled it,” Deano said.

But in most cases, the tracks remain the musician’s intellectual property. That fortuitous outcome meant both an easier process for a small, independent label and the opportunity for Deano to engage directly with many of the artists. “A lot of these guys are still active musicians, still hustling,” he explained in a nod to the album title’s double meaning, a gesture to both the era’s iconic dance, and these Caribbean artists’ hardworking ethic.

A second Tropical Disco Hustle volume, featuring tracks from Barbados, St. Lucia, and elsewhere, is now in the works, with a planned release in spring 2015.

Tropical Disco Hustle is available on CD and double LP, as are selected 12”s from the compilation, here