“MILLION DOLLAR DISCO” LEGEND, AL KENT @ YUKUNKUN
On Saturday 30, we are honored to host a legend of Disco Music, Dj and music producer, AL KENT, Resident at “Northern Disco” in Manchester, where he plays alongside some of the world’s best : KON & AMIR, DIMITRI, MONK ONE, SEAN P, RAHAAN …
ENTRANCE : 20 000 L.L before 11.30 pm / 30 000 L.L after 11.30 pm
When Al Kent launched the Million Dollar Disco label back in the ’90s “Disco House” was all the rage. A life spent hoarding rare soul and disco records, a keen ear for a sample and a few years of DJing already under his belt stood him in good stead when it came to making music. Inspired by labels like Azuli with their Chocolate Fudge and Disco Elements EPs he made a load of tracks by sticking house drums on top of disco samples and released somewhere in the region of twenty 12″ singles, many of which found their way into top DJs’ charts. Despite encouraging signs with tracks being signed to high profile labels like Z Records, Defected Hed Kandi and even his beloved Azuli, the Disco House formula soon ran its course and Al looked for a fresh challenge. So he recorded an orchestra instead. “Better Days” by the Million Dollar Orchestra was released as a double album by BBE in 2008, having taken the best part of two years to make. Not many producers would have the flair to go from cutting up samples to recording a 26 piece band, but Al did it with aplomb.
It was when he abandoned the style Million Dollar Disco had become known for that his DJ career really took off. Ditching house music in favour of disco saw him first emulating his hero Walter Gibbons; cutting between two copies of each record, until he discovered he could save the hassle (and money spent on doubles) and make re-edits instead. Soon his sets were made up entirely of his own exclusive reworks. He’s released a ton of those edits over the years on Million Dollar Disco as well as a slew of labels like Jisco, Kat, Real Thing, Edit, Stilove4music, People Must Jam, Kalakuta Soul, Kojak Giant Sounds and All Out War. He’s been round the world a few times too, playing in Australia, Canada, France, Poland, United Arab Emerates, Italy, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Croatia – pretty much every country in Europe, every city in the UK and many locations in between. Al has had the honour of playing Southport weekender four times (more than any other “Connoisseur’s Corner” guest) as well as headlining at prestigious events like Z Records’ first (and, to this date, only) party in London and Ete D’Amour’s boat party on the Seine, at the invitation of Dimitri From Paris. He was co-promoter and resident DJ at Manchester’s legendary Northern Disco and regularly throws crowd pleasing parties in his home town of Glasgow.
His relationship with BBE gave him the opportunity to release the Disco Love volumes (three so far), a series of hard to find disco tracks, a self produced follow up to the Million Dollar Orchestra “Secret Sounds” and the Best of Disco Demands.. a 5x CD/2x double vinyl set made up of more hard to find tracks, originally released in very limited quantities on Million Dollar Disco. At the time of writing Al’s putting the finishing touches to an album that has again taken some time to produce, featuring an army of musicians and vocalists. It’s no surprise it’s taken so long though with his busy DJ schedule and remixes for Tommy Stewart, Stanton Davis, Sandy Barber, The Sunburst Band, Tom Noble, The Bank and Odyssey all completed in the last year.
Despite his reputation as a digger and his background in rare soul and disco, Al is no musical snob when it comes to DJing. He knows how to move a dance-floor with music that ranges from the most obscure disco to bona-fide classics. It’s his edits that elevate him beyond the normal conception of a “disco DJ” though. If you thought disco was music for the back room, think again.. Al’s sound is big and bad, perfectly mixed in a way Ron Hardy would be proud of. His style has earned him serious praise from many of his peers like Sadar Bahar, Mike Huckaby, Theo Parrish, Rahaan, Red Rack’em, Joey Negro (who once famously called him Scotland’s answer to Walter Gibbons), Dimitri From Paris andHorse Meat Disco.
On top of all this he’s managed to squeeze in writing reviews and a couple of articles for Keep On and Faith magazines, with requests for more disco articles for magazines and sites in the pipeline, he’s provided guest mixes for the likes of Six Million Steps, DJ History, Ministry of Sound, Galaxy Radio, SSRadio, Deepsoul3, Love Unlimited, Test Pressing, Keep-It-Deep and Inhale, and of course single handedly runs the Million Dollar Disco site.