The Washington Post magazine has a cover story this week about Chuck Brown, the guy who created go-go.
Blending syncopated Latin beats with elements of jazz and African rhythms, Brown produced a sound that also derived directly from the music of African American churches. The inspiration led Brown to slow down the up-tempo of disco, which was popular during this period. “I just cut the beat in half,” he says. And to compete with the DJs, who were able to keep people on the dance floor continuously, Brown ignored the traditional stops in a set and began dropping percussion interludes between songs, twining them together so that there were no breaks. He called his new music go-go, “because it goes and goes,” he says.
There’s material in that story for a much longer post, but I don’t have the energy.
Elsewhere on the topic of go-go, there was a lively thread last night over at Balloon Juice on the best in 1970s funk. Someone nominated this one from Trouble Funk.