Turn up the volume, press play, brew some coffee, and get down.
Interview with the curator, Kirill Savateev, Creative Director at Standart
How does the mixtape reflect the theme of the issue, and perhaps even the time of year?
There are many instances and motifs related to 'touches' throughout the latest issue of Standart. It's an edition that celebrates closeness and humanity, following a period where that was more difficult. When I think about music with this in mind, disco jumps out. I think of ecstatic hugs, youthful recklessness, the offer of a hand asking to dance. The touches are not intense or untoward, but rather innocent, gossamer-like.
What sort of coffee do you imagine goes best with the mixtape?
My favourite film of all time is The Last Days of Disco. There's a scene in which the characters are forced to leave a nightclub and gather afterwards at a diner. Being still in a festive mood, the group contemplates whether they might dance in this new locale. I wish people felt less intimidated and constrained in such situations; your friends are there, you're in a good mood—why not just dance? So, naturally, the coffee to have with this is a big cup of diner-esque stuff, drunk in concert with alcohol in order to make the night last a little longer—or given that it's the holidays, a hefty measure of coffee with the family, but make sure it's one that puts you in a similarly devil-may-care mood.
This is a disco-inspired mixtape. Why do you think disco died off in the first place? And why do you think, given its re-emergence, that it is a genre that has more staying power than some others, such as the short-lived '90s revitalization of swing?
There are theories about the death of disco. My take on it is that mass culture was cynically sceptical of the sheer splendour that permeated disco culture. People, mostly wrongly, concluded that it was a movement restricted to yuppies. It's baffling to me that instead of claiming it for their own enjoyment, the majority chose to cast it aside and kill it. What's not to love about the reckless, last-night-of-our-lives-type attitude that informed the entire decade-long binge?
The killing of disco was a civilizational misstep. Instead of piling onto the trend of being well turned-out, dancing with terrific skill, and chatting even better, we wound up with grunge, all-black outfits and hair, and dancing by bobbing our heads monotonously.
In the spirit of the season, here I should offer a slight throat-clearing, and say that there is much in rock and its varieties of genre that I love; some of my favourite bands are decidedly heavy. But a culture that contains and celebrates myriad different pastimes, in which industrial metal and high-glam disco have their moment on the stage, is the richer and more enduring. So, if somebody knows a great disco club somewhere, please comment below and I'll do my best to relocate to that part of the world.
Why do you think a disco mixtape is a particularly well-suited gift to give to Standart subscribers?
I think a good gift is one that is a little unexpected. In this case, these tracks are more obscure than they might be. I just hope I make someone's day with this fun-filled little mix. And that, in turn, and in line with the theme of the issue, would touch me, and make my day.