Purple Disco Machine presents debut album ‘Soulmatic,’ talks timelessness of disco [Interview + Album Review]
Disco remains at the forefront of dance music four decades after its genesis, thanks in part to the genius and innovation of Dresden-born artist Purple Disco Machine (PDM). With his debut album Soulmatic, Purple Disco Machine — also known as Tino Piontek — challenges the notion that the aforementioned genre was laid to rest with the bell bottoms and tie dye of yesteryear.
“To me, disco is such a fantastic musical style [in] that it transcends nostalgia. A genre which has musicality and musicianship at its heart should be celebrated, and I think, like many others, that those values are still relevant in today’s electronic scene”
Soulmatic celebrates disco’s timelessness by blurring boundaries of genre, interpolating classic disco with funk and deep house elements in classic PDM form. This kaleidoscopic aspect of his new project both appeals to dance music fans from all corners, and allows the artist to stay true to his disco roots while keeping a foot in modern times.
“On Soulmatic, I tried to make it so that every track touches upon some aspect of the ‘Disco’ genre. From the classic stylings of the 1970’s & 80’s, through Soul, Boogie, Funk into classic House, Filter Disco and Nu Disco,” he explains.
Crucial to the pervasiveness of disco in today’s dance culture is the art of sampling, and Soulmatic‘s first single “Body Funk” is no exception. The track nods to disco legend Sylvester by sampling the drums and bass-line of his hit “Do You Wanna Funk” and combining them with vocal samples from Hot Streak’s “Body Funk” over a classic Moroder-esque Italo-disco beat.
Purple Disco Machine comments,“‘Body Funk’ has been a key track for me since I first recorded it back in early 2017. I play it every set and it is a proper crowd anthem every time. It is crazy to know that it has spread across many different types of DJs, from Black Madonna to Dimitri Vegas who both play it!”
Soulmatic‘s second single “Devil In Me” is equally as unifying as “Body Funk” in that it showcases a melting pot of decades subgenres and tastes. On “Devil In Me,” PDM reimagines his own 2013 hit “My House” with a new vocal top line, and the result is a euphoric nod to dance music of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Not only does “Devil In Me” thrive on a late night Ibiza dance floor, but its sensual vocal courtesy of Joe Killington introduces the track to a wider audience. Killington’s beckoning voice gives a modern flair to the track’s classic disco roots, laying nicely over the original sample from William Bell’s “Private Number.”
The producer shares, “I always felt that the sample in ‘My House’ was so strong [and] that the record could go a lot further than just the club. To do that, it would need a vocal top line. So when it got signed the record company hooked it up. I think it really works, and now I have two different yet complementary records in my catalog.”
“Devil In Me” is representative of Soulmatic at large, using Joe Killington’s intoxicating vocals to transform a classic soul groove into a modern club anthem. Immediately after “Devil In Me,” Soulmatic‘s fifth track “Pray For Me” calls on contemporary R&B talent CeeLo Green to bring PDM’s Daft Punk-esque beat from a soulful loop into a late night heater.
In the form of vocoded vocals and keyboard notes, Daft Punk flavors also pop up on the album’s opener “Music In You” featuring Lorenz Rhode. Additionally, Piontek pays homage to earlier musical eras on “Memphis Jam” by enlisting New York‘s Golden Age of rap icon Kool Keith for a luxurious overlapping of off kilter rap and soulful grooves.
From whichever decade, genre or taste he draws, Purple Disco Machine succeeds in shifting happiness and togetherness back into dance culture’s center focus with Soulmatic. His debut album upholds the integrity of traditional disco while reaching a mainstream dance audience, cementing it as one of today’s most innovative releases.