What David Mancuso taught me about playing records - - Mixmag

What David Mancuso taught me about playing records

Mancuso protégé Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy played the legendary Loft parties and continues their legacy today

  • Words: Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy | Photo: Dave Swindells
  • 18 November 2016

My dear friend and mentor David Mancuso passed away earlier this week. It is incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact that I will never see him again, never hear his laugh, see the twinkle in his eye, hug him or hear him send his love. I have spent hours crying, listening to records, reading old e-mails and reflecting upon the many different ways in which he changed my life. There were a multitude of ways in which he altered my way of thinking and my career in terms of social habits, party hosting and sound. And of course, he also taught me a lot about playing records or ‘musically hosting’.

I started going to David Mancuso’s Loft parties 25 years ago when I was in my early twenties. At the time, I was working as a syndicated radio host / producer and as a record reviewer. I already had a decent, varied record collection as I had worked in record shops from the age of 16. And I knew a thing or two about putting together music as I had made mix tapes as an adolescent, and from the age of 14 I had hosted radio shows on my high school’s 10-watt radio station through to my university days where I was a broadcaster and Program Director at WNYU. Even at my young age, I thought I knew a lot about music and the art of programming.

But when I stepped through the doors into David’s home on East 3rd Street, the site of his weekly parties, I felt like Alice falling through the rabbit hole into a new musical wonderland. The space was beautifully lit and decorated with childlike balloons, a Buddha, a Christmas tree and a massive mirror ball. The dance floor was surrounded by ten Klipschorn loudspeakers from which emanated the most exquisite sound, a sound that gently engulfed the dancers and sounded more ‘musical’ than any other place I had been. And I didn’t know a single record that he played.

Next Page »
Newsletter 2

Mixmag will use the information you provide to send you the Mixmag newsletter using Mailchimp as our marketing platform. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. By clicking sign me up you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.