It was during the Disco era a new kind of guy entered the scene... This guy was the Remixer! Who was he (unfortunatly there are no famous remixer ladies), what did he do and why?
I hope we can get some answers to that in this piece...

The Remixer was "born" when the 12" inch singles entered the Disco scene during 1975. This new format was the start for a new player on the scene. The 12" inch single format allowed the recoding, the songs, to be much longer than in the old 45's (7" inch singles). Before this many songs used to come in longer versions in the albums and then they had to cut the song down for a 45's release. The 7" inch format only allowed some 3-4 minutes of recorded material, but the new 12" inch singles could contain up to 10-15 minutes (and even longer) versions of the song and with better sound quality than could be made on the 45's.
This new format was one of the most important things which made the way for this new caracter to enter the scene the Remixer!

So... That brings us the the first question Who was he, the Remixer?
He was usually a DJ who understood what other fellow DJ's wanted out of a track. You should keep in mind that beat mixing (when 2 songs are mixed together with the same speed of the beats) had started entering the scene. This new technic of mixing songs together demanded longer intros (prefferable instumental) and good long breaks so a new song could be mixed in. This was really the job the Remixer had to do... Mix the song together in a way that was more DJ-friendly and that had good (long) intros and breaks.
One of the first DJ's to beat mix was a guy who started out already in 1973, his name was Nicky Siano. He had his own popular New York club the Gallery. Also in this club 2 of the worlds most wellknown Remixers/DJs started their carreers. These guys was the friends and legends Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles. Both of them was DJ's and later become Remixers.
Larry Levan was a popular Remixer of New York labels like West End and Prelude Records. His remixes are still as brilliant today as they was over 20 years ago. Unfortunatly Larry is no longer with us... But his friend Frankie is! Freankie became a Remixer in later years and really wasn't a Remixer of the Disco era. But he was the first DJ to receive the first Grammy award as Best Remixer in 1998.

The most wellknown Remixer of the Disco era really must be Tom Moulton. He was one of the most wanted remixers for Disco 12" inches. Actually Tom had already made himself a name in the business as a remixer even before the 12" inch single was founded. He had remixed some 100-150 45's before the 12" inches hit the scene. The now classic mark for a remix made by Tom, is "A Tom Moulton Mix". This is a mark that really use to stand for good quality and fine mixes.

Other of the classic Disco Remixers are guys like Bobby 'DJ' Guttadaro, Tee Scott, Francois Kevorkian, Walter Gibbons, Jim Burgess, Shep Pettibone and John 'Jellybean' Benitez. Unfortunaly there are not that much written about these guys, so I really can't tell that much about them, but if YOU know anything about these guys I'd love to hear what you've got to say... All of them was among the pioneer Remixers and they all did great mixes with their own special "touch". These was the guys who led the way for all the remixers today. Without these guys no one knows what would have happened to the Disco scene and later to the House music scene and the Remixer/Remixes in general.

As you might have understand by now, I think the Remixer is and was an important player to the Disco scene. A remix from a good Remixer really could lift a mediocre song to new hights. If you get a chance check it out for yourself!
'Till next month...

Take care and Disco-on,