The Claude Mono Blog


Rinder and Lewis – Disco
July 27, 2013, 6:03 am
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rinder and Lewis

It was that bizarre photo that got be started…

Rinder and Lewis, that is Laurin Rinder and W Michael Lewis have been a very recent disco discovery. I think I kind of knew about them in a purely peripheral sense from some of their artist production for El Coco and the quite well known Le Pamplemousse (see ‘Le Spank’) but I had not really paid attention or even connected to other production work such as Saint Tropez, Tuxedo Junction, and the very cool Discognosis. Rinder and Lewis: well these guys were just prolific original disco era producers who never are but (possibly) should be dropped in the same late-night DJ conversations as Patrick Adams and Pete Brown . Within much longer musical production careers commencing in the 60s they have been involved with at least 29 disco-era albums and as Laurin Rinder remembered it in a 2001 Discomusic.com article basically lived in the studio: “we really had cots, beds and the whole thing, we were just pumpin’ them out. 7 days a week, 3 different projects at the same time. I played drums on everything but had to play a little differently. I had to ask the engineer ‘What’s the name of this group?‘ ” . Their music output was the result of a cocaine-fuelled totally mad production schedule: “The amount of coke we did to do all this you can’t even imagine. $300 a day(big $ in 1977). I had to have plastic inserts in my nose so I could do more.” In the tradition of great disco producers they also played the majority of the instruments themselves. Despite that, as musicians they didn’t credit themselves on some of their earlier works, instead giving false names to false musicians on the back of their records.

Seven Deadly Sins is a classic instrumentally-driven disco LP. In discussing its companion ‘Warriors’ Laurin explained some of the ‘secret magic of the studio creative process: “We changed the way recording happened. We started with a bass drum. And we laid down a track of a bass drum for ten minutes. Just boom, boom, boom Then we started piling things on top of things, on top of things and then did tons of editing.” At the time of the Warriors LP they were using over forty tracks to produce their music.

Although they did have a tendency to throw in a bit of populist cheese in the mix (what happened at 5:45 in the stunning ‘Lust’?) these guys are total masters of synth-powered, jazzy atmospheric disco. Search out their production work and especially the Seven deadly Sins. Not surprisingly, after disco, Rinder & Lewis burned out and were forgotten. All that coke had to take it’s toll….

In good news Laurin Rinder is still about and these days is an abstract painter calling abstract painting ‘the jazz of painting’ (alright!!). I have not been able to find out what happened to W Michael Lewis? ..mysterious?

Check out…

The vast AVI Records catalogue – keep an eye out for these babies in second hand record shops

Check out… this article on the fabulous Disco Delivery blog – and where I launched from to got some of my info

Check out…  this great news story from U,S. 60 Minutes from 1978, Its got some killer Studio 54 footage and there is some amazing footage of original disco era production and recording featuring Laurin Rinder’s Butterfly Records and Peter Brown doing some work for TK Records – this is the ‘real deal’ with big strings by the New York Philharmonic being dropped into the mix not some laptop generated sequenced samples. The clip was loaded up to YouTube by Laurin Rinder himself – neat and thank you.

Check out… ‘Lust’ from the 1977 Seven Deadly Sins LP

Check out… ‘Anger’ from the 1977 Seven Deadly Sins LP

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