January 21, 2000
Blank started out in New York in 1973 as a guitarist before producing one of the first 12″ disco records in ‘75 – Jimmy Sabater’s ‘To Be With You’. He opened his own Blank Tape studios a year later. He quickly became an essential port of call for New York’s diverse artistic community, honing the freeform, anarchic visions of August Darnell, Cristina and Lydia Lunch for ZE Records and, with producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, helping to shape the sound of many disco classics. Musique, Inner Life, Instant Funk and Salsoul Orchestra all recorded classics at Blank Tapes. Arthur Russell also recorded much of his most celebrated disco-related output at the studios under pseudonyms Dinosaur L, Indian Ocean and Felix, as well as “Wax The Van” with Blank’s wife, Lola. Other regulars at Blank Tapes included Latin producer Tito Rodriguez, whose Charanga 76 and Eddie Palmieri recordings with Blank would receive Grammy nominations.
These days, Blank has forged a very different career, recording sound-alike tracks for library music and karaoke. He has also developed a successful career in ballroom dancing, landing national senior titles with partner Martha Estevez in 2006 and 2007.
Strut, in the label’s first collaboration with Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s DJ History, celebrate Blank’s time at Blank Tapes with an exclusive compilation, covering the many facets of his work. We feature the very first track ever recorded at the studio, Milton Hamilton’s ‘Crystalized’, anthems including Fonda Rae’s ‘Over Like A Fat Rat’ and lesser known Blank classics from the vaults from Debby Blackwell and Mikki.
The package features an extensive interview with Bob Blank about his career in music, by Bill Brewster, alongside rare archive photos from Blank’s personal archive.
1. DEBBY BLACKWELL – ONCE YOU GOT ME GOING
2. CHARANGA 76 – MUSIC TRANCE
3. MILTON HAMILTON – CRYSTALIZED
4. SUN RA – WHERE PATHWAYS MEET
5. THE NECESSARIES – STATE OF ART
6. LYDIA LUNCH – A CRUISE TO THE MOON
7. JAMES BLOOD ULMER – JAZZ IS THE TEACHER, FUNK IS THE PREACHER
8. BUMBLEBEE UNLIMITED – I GOT A BIG BEE
9. MIKKI – ITCHING FOR LOVE (Unreleased Segio Munzabai M&M mix)
10. FONDA RAE – OVER LIKE A FAT RAT
11. GLADYS KNIGHT – IT’S A BETTER THAN GOOD TIME (Walter Gibbons mix)
12. LOLA – WAX THE VAN (Jon’s Dub)
13. AURAL EXCITERS – EMILE (NIGHT RATE)