*refreshed links by request, for the moment only 2 of the mixes are in it. I may eventually update this again.
THE ZIP OF SUN
In September and October 1992 Larry Levan had a triumphant D.J. tour of Japan. Even though The Paradise Garage had closed five years before his star was still shining bright around the world. On that tour he played amazingly to rabid crowds but he was suffering physically due to his deep drug addiction.
One of his last remixes was Sun Shower by Nami Shimada. This deep house mix of a song by an 80's Japanese pop star was released in 1991 on Columbia records Japan. The 12" also featured a Mark Kamins dance mix. Danceteria legend Mark Kamins and Paradise Garage star Larry Levan enjoyed a particularly elevated status in Japan and could easily fill dance floors as often as they were willing to play in clubs like Gold, and EndMax.
When Mark Kamins came back home from this tour he made sure to bring me a few copies of this soon to be rare record and the cd too. We both lived in Tribeca and he often walked down from North Moore to my loft on Chambers Street to hang out. I will also associate my years in New York City to Tribeca and my great friendship with Mark Kamins.
Though I sold my white label 12" on Ebay a few years back. I do have a copy on mp3 of my cd version of it which I will provide here. It features the same mixes as the 12".
A few years ago on a visit to the city I attended The Loft, David Mancuso played Sun Shower and it came as such a surprise to me. I was dancing my heart out next to several Japanese couples and my shirt started to get wet. Nope I wasn't sweating I was crying. DAMN! It sounded so wonderful and brought back so many memories flooding back.
As an added treat here is a minute of Larry Levan in the booth at the closing party of The Paradise Garage in September 1987.
Unfortunately Larry Levan died of heart failure on Nov. 8, 1992 just a few days after returning from his tour in Japan. Of his spinning on this tour Francois K. is quoted as having said, ‘It was so emotional because the message of all the songs said he was really hurting. We all felt it at the time, but I think he pretty much knew he was dying and all the songs he played were so deeply related to how fast life goes. He played Jean Carne’s ‘Time Waits For No One’ and The Trammps’ ‘Where Do We Go From Here’, and I realized that this was one of the best moments of greatness that I had ever witnessed in my life. It was so obvious, so grand, such a drama to it that you just knew.’
As usual I invite you to take a look at my Ebay store. Just click above on this blog title and it will take you right there. I've got several hundred vinyls offered at the moment, with new stock arriving every few days.
Special thanks to Welsh DJ Darren Stewart who provided the image of the cd cover up top. I sold it to him a while back and being that it's so hard to find I could not track down this image anywhere. Thanks Darren for making this post more complete.
On a final note Mark Kamins has left the stage. He like Larry Levan died of heart failure on February 15, 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico. He had been working as the Dean of a music school. He was a dear friend and a fantastic DJ. An extremely successful tribute party in his honor was recently held at Santo's House Party in Manhattan. I wish I could have been there but as per usual I was in Rome with my students.
As a special treat I'm including some videos from the Larry Levan tribute party May 2014 on King Street right outside the location of the original Paradise Garage. Hopefully this street will soon be known as Larry Levan Way.