Everybody’s favourite obscure synth/wave torch bearers (Dark Entries) and everybody’s favourite San Franciscan DJ collective/party throwers (Honey Soundsystem) team up to release the entrancing School Daze LP – a compilation of long-lost (and light years ahead of its time) electronic tinkering courtesy of Disco and Hi-NRG pioneer Patrick Cowley.
Spanning the years 1973 to 1981, this 80+ mins compilation unearths 11 spellbinding tracks originally composed by Cowley to soundtrack films released by San Franciscan gay porn production house Fox Studios.
A major departure from the pioneering dance floor cuts he made his name with – his production work for Sylvester and a wonderous 18 minute rework of I Feel Love are of particular note – School Daze is an introspective crawl through the mind of one of electronic music’s true innovators. Freeing himself up from the confines of the disco genre, this compilation sees Cowley delve headfirst into a world of experimental soundscapes, evoking both backstreet sleaze and the cosmos simultaneously.
From the hypnotic/unsettling ‘Nightcrawler’ and lush/optimistic ‘Mockingbird Dream’ through to the proto-techno of ‘Primordial Landscape’ and musique concrete of ‘Pagan Rhythms’ it’s clear that Cowley’s genius wasn’t just restricted to the dance floor – and it’s a shame that this wasn’t recognised on a much larger scale until more than 30 years after his passing. Essential stuff.