David Mancuso: DJ and dance culture pioneer, dies aged 72
Unlike the commercial clubs that existed to make a profit, Mancuso and particularly his event Love Saves the Day, offered a space for its members, often an LGBTQ audience, to celebrate nightlife without police interference.
“For me, the core [idea behind The Loft] is social progress,” he said in 2013. “How much social progress can there be when you’re in a situation that is repressive? You won’t get much social progress in a nightclub.
“Special” extends for a slow-rolling nine minutes, and it’s so expansive one could parallel park in its stereo field. The song is little more than a stately piano line, a synth that spumes like a squeezed juicebox, a rock guitar solo, handclaps so echo-y they seem to come down from heaven and the group harmonizing the title. With so few moving parts, one might imagine it grows tedious, but Levan manipulates everything so that each sound strides towards you and then veers away, cruising you yet remaining ever elusive.
As it continues to unfold, the song sublimates so as to be a mantra of uplift. In hindsight of the AIDS epidemic that would soon ravage the Garage’s audience and owner (not to mention Keith Haring, who designed the Peech Boys’s album cover), decades later it sounds more and more like a song of resistance and resilience in the face of impending death.