Lecture: Tom Moulton (New York 2013)
Tom Moulton has so many firsts to his name it’s hard to know where to begin. First remix, first continuous-mix album, first 12" single, first extended breakbeat. If there was a Mount Rushmore for disco, Moulton’s face—the same face that earned him a parallel modeling career—would be among the first to be carved. Despite never working as a live DJ, his work transformed the dance-music scene through a series of continuous mixtapes—made in the days before mixers—for a hip gay bar in Fire Island. To meet the demand for more tapes he needed longer tracks, so he sought out instrumental versions from record companies, enabling a longer mix. It was this need for a more spacious, often multipart mix (Tom loved the idea of a suite) that led to the invention of the 12". Throughout the ‘70s he remixed artists as varied as BT Express and Isaac Hayes, produced the first three Grace Jones albums, the unbroken mix on one side of Gloria Gaynor’s Never Can Say Goodbye, and remixed reams and reams of material for Philadelphia International and Salsoul; he is the official archivist of the latter label to this day. Watch him recount his tales from the lecture couch at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy in New York City.