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Downtown 81 (Soundtrack)

by Various Artists
Downtown 81 by Various Artists
Released: Mar 2001
Label: Recall Records
As a cultural document, the soundtrack for director Edo Bertoglio's art-house flick is top shelf. It captures the potent stew of art punk, disco, hip-hop and Latin music comprising New York's underground music scene at the onset of the Reagan presidency. The fact that artists and musicians as divergent as August Darnell (aka Kid Creole), Suicide and Jean-Michel Basquiat actually rubbed shoulders is just mind-blowing. If there's a single track that most embodies the scene's wonderful diversity, it's Liquid Liquid's "Cavern," which the Sugar Hill crew mutated into "White Lines (Don't Do It)."
Justin Farrar
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