Golden Flamingo Orchestra feat. Margo Williams — The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us (1979)
Bumping breakbeat on this track from the Golden Flamingo Orchestra, with Margo Williams’ honeyed vocals on top. Coupled with the subway service announcements in the background, this is a classic. (yeah, Patrick Adams had a hand in it)
“May I have your attention please. There is no uptown A service today. You are advised to take the uptown D train to 125th Street and take the downtown local to your stop… Clear the doors.. we will not move this train until you clear the doors.”
The subway announcements aren’t just there for fun. This dancefloor hymn is dedicated to the Guardian Angels, the red-bereted youth who took crime fighting into their own hands, patrolling the NYC subways in the late 70s and early 80s in an attempt to keep riders safe.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, who was night manager at a McDonald’s in the Bronx when he started the group, called New York City of the 1980s a “seething cesspool of criminal activity.”
(credit: Bruce Davidson)
(photo I used at top for album art is Danny Lyon’s IRT 2, South Bronx, New York City, 1979)
three conga drums on the M train
Alexander Chen — Conductor (2011)
Video capture. View live at: mta.me
I love projects that twist two incongruous things together — the results are often mesmerizing. In this case, designer Alexander Chen combines Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 NYC subway map with the music of plucked strings for a zen-like audiovisual experience.
Each stretch of track becomes a string as a train travels along it in time. Other trains crossing the line ‘pluck’ the strings. The longer the straight stretches, the deeper the tones. The 4/5/6 and D lines have wonderfully deep tones.
Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.
Hypnotising. (via ghostcapital)