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Rest in peace David Mancuso

I heard some very sad news today from a friend. David Mancuso, the founder of “The Loft” and one of the pioneers of the DJ record pool, passed away today at the age of 72.

Everyday in Manhattan’s art gallery district, Soho, people wander by the open doors at 99 Prince Street. Often they stop and gaze in at what looks like a children’s wonderland. Hundreds of brightly coloured helium balloons cover every inch of the cavernous ceiling. They wonder if it is another art gallery and are often drawn up the steps to find that it is in fact a private residence, the home of David Mancuso.

I got this write-up from the Internet:

For 13 years, every Saturday night, originally nearby on Broadway and for the last eight years at his present home, David Mancuso had been throwing rent parties for about 500 guests. Entrance is by invitation only. Liquor is not served. Juice and food are given away and the raison d’être for everyone coming here is to dance to what is reputed to be one of the world’s finest sound systems.

David is the parent and progenitor of much of NYC’s dance scene. In 1975 he, along with Steve D’Aquisto and Vince Aletti, wrote the charter for the first DJ record pool. He had also consistently popularised new music, bringing the Barrabas LP back from Spain and selling it at cost in The Loft as well as playing a major role in getting Eddy Grant’s music over to the hard core dance audience. His first official “The Loft” party, held on February 14th, 1970, was called “Love Saves The Day” and eventually went down every Saturday night, starting around midnight and running until the morning. David long abandoned the use of either a mixer or headphones. There was no overlaying or re-mixing of records at The Loft. They simply followed after each other as rhythmically as possible and Mancuso’s editorial input was restricted to the narrative of the song’s sequencing and the fidelity with which they were reproduced by the custom-made Paul Klipsch speaker system, Mark Levinson amplifiers, Mitchell Cotter turntable bases and line amplifier and the Koestu hand-crafted cartridges.

I have always liked the concept of The Loft and when I met David, he told me about it and it just grabbed me. He was a very nice man, willing to talk and share information. And I am not alone in feeling this way. Many people have said the same thing of him.

Rest in peace David Mancuso. You will be missed. The DJ world has lost one of its pioneers. Thanks to TimLawrence.com for the picture of David Mancuso

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