A giddy old man is onstage, smiling from ear to ear. He’s spent the last few minutes retelling the soon-to-be familiar tale of how he became a musician — a truncated version of the three-hour interview he recorded for Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories, which dropped yesterday (May 21).
From the booth at Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nightclub Output, the 73-year-old spins a tale of recording “Love to Love You Baby” with Donna Summer, kicking everyone out of the studio and dimming the lights so she would feel inspired enough to moan just right.
And soon enough, he says the words that so many on the floor came to hear: “My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but you can call me Giorgio” (just slightly different than how he phrases it on the record). With that, the beat for Daft Punk’s “Giorgio by Moroder” drops, and the staggeringly brutal sound system at Output carries Giorgio Moroder into the future.
On the eve of Random Access Memories’ release, it seemed odd to be celebrating an Italian producer whose connection to the record was at most tangential, if influential. But his influence on disco and funk (and subsequently, Daft Punk) is undeniable, evidenced by the rousing cheers for his spin of the aforementioned Donna Summer classic.
The party that hosted Giorgio is called Deep Space, a Monday night jam hosted by Paradise Garage and Studio 54 veteran Francois K that’s become a fixture in Manhattan’s West Village. This particular event was put on by the Red Bull Music Academy, and the crowd skewed young — a room filled with twenty- and thirtysomethings gawking at a senior citizen who made the records their parents got wild to in the discotheques. The music had transcended generations.