Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records have teamed up again to release another volume of gay porn soundtracks by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the cannon of disco music, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music coined "The San Francisco Sound." Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco at the age of 21. He studied at the City College of San Francisco where he founded the Electronic Music Lab. During this time Patrick, along with his classmates Maurice Tani and Art Adcock, would create radio jingles and electronic pieces using the school's equipment, first a Putney, then an E-MU System and finally a Serge synthesizer. He would make experimental instrumental songs by blending various types of music and adapting them to the synthesizer.
By the mid-70's, Patrick's synthesizer skills landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco superstar Sylvester such as “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance Disco Heat” and "Stars." This helped Patrick obtain more work as a remixer and producer. Of particular note was his 18-minute long remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and production work with edgy New Wave band Indoor Life. By 1981 Patrick released a string of dance 12" singles, like “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”, creating the soundtrack for a generation. Also that year, he founded Megatone Records and released his debut album. Around this time Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with a then-unknown illness: that would later be called AIDS. Prior to his passing on November 12, 1982, he recorded two more Hi-NRG hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester and "Right On Target" for Paul Parker as well as a second solo album “Mind Warp”.
In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. John had heard about Patrick's music from the legendary Sylvester and proposed he write music for his films. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick's songs in-sync with the film scene. “Muscle Up" is a collection of Cowley's instrumental songs recorded between 1973 and 1980 found in the Fox Studio vaults. This compilation also includes bonus compositions found in the basement of Megatone Records owner John Hedges and the attic of former bandmate Maurice Tani. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick forged an electronic sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars and self-constructed equipment. The listener enters a world of dark forbidden vices, introspective and reflective of Patrick's time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on “Muscle Up” are divided into four sides, from the ambient, jungle journey of side one to the instrumental demo version of “Somebody to Love Tonight” on side two, to the space-funk of side three and finally the interstellar workouts of side four, that further reveal the depth of Cowley's unique talent.
Featuring 75 minutes of music, this compilation contains soundtrack music from two Fox Studio films, "Muscle Up" and "School Daze", plus additional songs from the same era, never before released on vinyl. The tapes were restored and transferred using the same speed and pitch settings, then remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a extra wide spine jacket and giant fold-out poster featuring a handmade collage using photography and xerox graphics of classic gay porn imagery from the Fox Studio vaults by Berlin-based artist Gwenael Rattke. Each double album also contains a 8x11 glossy promotional “Muscle Up” replica poster with original VHS artwork plus an essay from Maurice Tani. For Patrick's 65th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.
Released August 19, 2017
C) + (P) 2015 Dark Entries Records / Honey Soundsystem Records
ALL SONGS WRITTEN, RECORDED AND PRODUCED BY PATRICK COWLEY.
ALL INSTRUMENTS PERFORMED AND ARRANGED BY PATRICK COWLEY.
Charlie McMahon plays Yidaki didgeridoo on “Timelink”
Art Adcock additional synth programming on “Don’t Ask”, “Pigfoot”, “5oz of Funk”, “Uhura”, “Cat’s Eye”
Maurice Tani plays bass on “Don’t Ask”
All songs recorded between 1973 and 1980.
No-noising by Joe Tarantino, 2015
Remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios, 2015
“Deep Inside You” & “ Somebody To Love Tonight” originally appeared in the movie “School Daze” Fox Studio, 1980.
“Cat’s Eye” & “Pigfoot” originally appeared in the movie “Muscle Up” Fox Studio, 1980.
Design by Gwenaël Rattke
Thank You: John Coletti, John Hedges, Maurice Tani, Paul Parker, Joe Tarantino, Jesse Nichols, George Horn, Eloise Leigh and Gwenaël Rattke.
This album is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Cowley
(October 19, 1950 - November 12, 1982)