When the phrase, “1970’s gay porn disco soundtrack” is used to describe an album, you know you’ve stumbled upon something special. A good friend of mine from San Francisco turned me on to this LP. His presence in the San Francisco underground is well known, so when he turns me onto something, I listen intently. As usual, my trust was rewarded.
The album is a compilation of instrumental tracks recorded between 1973 to 1981, during his time as a film scorer for the famed LA based gay porn studio, Fox Studio. The tracks range from prototechno to full on funk. Already loved in the San Francisco music community, Cowley gained relative mainstream success after working with “disco superstar” Sylvester, which then opened the door for his most ambitious works with Fox Studio. It was there where Cowley pushed the boundaries of conventional and mainstream disco to create rich tonal scores that utilized new synthesizer techniques. These complex yet relatable sounds would lay the foundation for what is now modern electronic dance music. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that what Levan was to NY house, Cowley was to West coast electronica. Right up until his untimely death of AIDS in 1982, Cowley was creating forward thinking electronica that holds up to this day.
If you are a fan of legends like Moroder or Levan, this this album is a must listen, as Patrick Cowley is right up with the best and brightest of early disco production.