"Maybe a lot of us were insecure but we found a way to make each other secure," is something David Mancuso said about throwing parties when all around him oppressed people were having a shitty time. His nights at The Loft (and the future club nights he inspired the likes of Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and a whole host of positive-thinking party planners to create) were life-affirming events for those who were told elsewhere that their lives didn't mean anything. Coming-togethers that galvanized people who otherwise felt alone and powerless.
Mancuso's death comes at the tail-end of a year that—horrifically, ridiculously—is crying out for those values to be reinforced like never before. With that in mind, below is a playlist that pays tribute to the dance floors of that era. Each song is tied (loosely) to some of the many painful events we've had to endure in 2016.
Make no mistake: the intention is not for you to read a few depressing words and then forget about them for a few minutes while a euphoric disco track plays in the background. It's also not another variation on the "well, we just have to make compromises and work with the terrible people we disagree with and things will be better in a few years" line that countless (almost exclusively white, male, heterosexual) people are trotting out at the moment.
This is about focusing your mind on the lay of the land as we all naturally do when the year is drawing to a close. It's about gathering your loved ones around you—people who might be feeling scared and vulnerable, desperate and helpless. It's about losing yourself in the righteous emotions that somehow are best expressed through dancing, together. It's about maybe, just maybe, you and your loved ones capturing that energy in a way that lasts beyond the final fading horn blasts of "Love Is The Message." Harnessing, channelling and transforming that energy into actions small and large that can actually affect change.
You can hear the playlist in it's entirety here, and we've segmented it below, in an effort to understand the year's most heinous events as both individual moments, and a collective whole of total fucking shit. Still, let's try and be positive, shall we? The first party to make Mancuso's name was called Love Saves The Day: it has, it does, it will. It's just about remembering that love doesn't exist in the abstract—it's real, and it's here. Move those bodies!