Producer and DJ Dimitri from Paris claims to have uncovered a new sub-genre of disco, which he features on Dimitri from Paris Presents: Cocktail Disco. Although his description of said music as having “that ubiquitous 4/4 beat and flying open high-hat” makes the genre sound generic, the function and intent of these recordings sets them apart from the standard dance-floor workout and trumps his previous after-party set After the Playboy Mansion (2002). The melodrama and heightened self-awareness of something like disco-fied Gershwin (The Blue Velvets’ cover of “Summertime”) lends Cocktail Disco an off-off-Broadway air of theatricality; this is not disco for the discos, but disco to emulate the effect of disco that is played at the disco.
Of course, Dimitri selects only A-list C-disco and chooses tracks with greater rhythmic and melodic complexity than the Manhattan Transfer-Love Unlimited Orchestra brand of cocktail disco that he suggests sets the standard. Afro-Cuban sensibilities pop up on Orquesta Novel’s cover of “My Cherie Amour” and Jobell & the Orchestra de Salsa’s “Never Gonna Let You Go,” and breaks abound on Ray Martinez & Friends’ Cherchez la Femme-like “Lady of the Night.” Dim’s deejay-friendly edits, namely Richie Family’s “Frenesi,” which was remixed from the original masters, round out this impeccable compilation.