London-based selector and creative influencer Donna Leake’s vinyl-only NTS Radio show is a window onto how a virtuoso assembles enigmatic jazz hooks. Whether of the spiritual, straight, rock, fusion, or psychedelic varieties, Leake’s uncanny ability to mix jazz with rock, Afro-disco, dub and boogie takes listeners on a genre-bending deep dive through an astral plane of the recherché every episode.
Despite the intervening decades since David Mancuso dropped the needle to move people in his loft, the idea of friends playing for friends, and family coming first continues on in organized parties like London’s Lucky Cloud Sound System, venues like Brilliant Corners, and record labels like Kay Suzuki’s Time Capsule.
The beat has shaped our history in myriad, complex patterns for thousands of years. Not the least of which is a private party started in New York City in 1970 which became known as The Loft and spawned countless imitators and spin-offs, but only a handful of anointed successors. One of these being London, England’s Beauty and The Beat.