By the 1970s, disco music had become so popular that a Chicago DJ blew up records of the same in a football stadium, backed up by crazy chants of “disco sucks”. The 1979 event was also recorded in a book called “Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died”. In the history of modern club music, this “death of disco” moment also heralded the birth of house, a more groovy version built on electronics, drum machine and synths, a break with the singing and dancing live.
But Stalvart John knows the two are still chipping away at each other. The 31-year-old DJ and producer couldn’t give up the original genre of dance music in a new collective he created in 2017 to rediscover people at a time when “Saturday Night Fever” was serious business. “It all started with disco. I’ve always loved dancing. Since my college days in Cochin, clubbing was all about dancing. With Dynamite Disco Club, I want people to really let go,” says John, who , together with DDC, launched a series of disco and house music events, culminating in more than 25 gatherings on scenic night dives in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai, including five since January this year after a lockdown-induced disruption in 2020. DDC closely follows the heels of similar concept dance collectives like BLOT! and Wild City’s ‘Disco and Daiquiris’ and ‘Grime Riot Disco’, both of which have closed, although the famous Mumbai-based collective Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, which hosted its first night in 1999, is still going strong. .
“Dynamite Disco Club is a world of disco and house music that takes a closer look at the roots of soul, funk, disco and house, while touching the basics of Chicago house, Chicago funk. Detroit and the Philly soul scene. The A to Z of disco and house culture including music, fashion, merchandising, events and media, ”says John who has found his place in electronic music as podcaster and online radio show host about a decade ago in Cochin when he discovered artists like Fatboy Slim, Prodigy and Robert Miles. But he left his hometown in 2015. “Nobody wanted to book me up. out of state. There was no clubbing culture in Cochin. And Kerala had imposed a strict alcohol policy in 2014, “says John who started a monthly radio show in 2017 at India’s first electronic music community radio boxout.fm called” Dynamite Disco Club. Soon he started his own ‘Dynamite Disco Club’ parties which are held regularly in major Indian cities.
Drawing inspiration from the bold, choppy aesthetic of old-fashioned Communist propaganda posters alongside vintage Japanese matchbox labels, John enjoys designing his own party posters. “Disco and house are about equality. It’s about being young and free. It’s about freedom. It’s music that gives pleasure. My dance events are not parties. rave screened in movies and media, ”says John who has also taken on training and mentoring musicians passionate about soul, funk, disco and house. “Two of my students played at Magnetic Fields Nomad which just ended in Ranthambore. With my teaching and my events, I want to usher in a disco revolution again,” says John.