Disco manufacturer Denis LePage had a knack for drawing revellers to the dance flooring, and within the center of Montreal’s pumping Nineteen Eighties nightlife, the musician’s hitmaking talents had been unmistakable.
With a flow of Billboard chart hits, LePage helped outline an generation of Canada’s discotheques as a part of the duo Lime.
LePage, who recognized as non-binary and later took the identify Nini Nobless, died Monday of most cancers at age 74, stated former supervisor Yvon Lafrance.
Whilst now not precisely a family identify, LePage’s infectious synthesizer hooks made Lime’s songs favourites at dance golf equipment world wide.
“He was once a genius,” defined Claude Chalifoux, who co-owned Lime Gentle, the bustling Montreal dance membership that continuously spun Lime’s dance tracks.
“The entire tune that Denis did was once a wreck hit. Other people went loopy after they’d play Your Love, You’re My Magician and Responsible.”
Years ahead of the ones digital disco favourites, LePage was once already chasing a tune occupation.
As an adolescent, they carried out within the band the Persuaders, and through the mid-Seventies had shaped the jazz-fusion act Le Pouls with then-wife Denyse LePage, a singer-songwriter in her personal proper.
A couple of years later LePage secured their first hit with the funky 1979 unmarried The Damage, launched underneath the identify Kat Mandu. The cowbell-fuelled tune peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s U.S. disco chart.
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The good fortune put some wind into the sails of LePage’s 2d undertaking with Denyse, which stuck the wave of the synthesizer revolution sweeping during the trade.
Impressed through the sounds of Giorgio Moroder and Kraftwerk, the LePage duo had recorded an electro-disco undertaking in combination. However they hadn’t settled at the identify in their new act the evening they walked into the Lime Gentle with a promotional reproduction in their first vinyl, stated Chalifoux.
Lime Gentle, a downtown Montreal discotheque that welcomed homosexual and instantly clubgoers alike, proved a fruitful inspiration in additional techniques than one. Opened in 1973, the venue started website hosting an unique, fashion-forward patronage 4 years ahead of New York’s Studio 54 would cater to a equivalent crowd.
When in-house DJ Michel Simard performed Lime’s 1981 debut unmarried Your Love at the turntables for the primary time, he was once right away satisfied that they had successful on their arms, remembered Chalifoux.
Because the disco pair chatted with Simard, it changed into transparent they had been someway attached to the venue in a unique approach.
“When the folks got here to the Lime Gentle … a large number of (them) stated, ‘We’re going to the Lime this night,’” added Chalifoux.
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And so a shortened model of the membership’s identify caught to the couple.
An evening on the Lime Gentle quickly changed into synonymous with listening to Lime’s hits over the sound methods on probably the most venue’s two ranges of dance flooring.
By way of the tip of 1981, Your Love had unfold past Canada’s borders, touchdown atop the U.S. Billboard Sizzling Dance Membership Play chart for one week.
Lime delivered every other flooring filler with 1982’s mirrorball booty shaker Babe, We’re Gonna Love This night, which peaked at No. 6 at the dance chart.
Denis and Denyse additionally discovered good fortune outdoor Lime after they wrote Dancin’ the Evening Away for the duo Voggue. The 1981 unmarried held at No. 1 at the Billboard dance chart for 3 weeks.
Additionally they persevered making tune as Lime into the Nineties, despite the fact that pals say monetary issues led LePage to promote tune copyrights to Unidisc, a Montreal document label that makes a speciality of sounds of the generation.
“My folks’ courting was once now not simple,” stated Claudine LePage, the couple’s kid.
“They persevered making tune in combination … after which my dad persevered generating tune however used different singers. Or my mother would sing through herself on songs with different artists. The objective was once simply to proceed making tune.”
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Across the early 2010s, LePage started to publicly establish as a lady, taking the identify Nini Nobless and recording new subject material. The tune struggled to seek out an target market for various causes.
“I felt that the folks didn’t like that Denis went from a person to a girl,” stated Chalifoux.
“His tune was once excellent, he had the similar voice as when he was once making a song with Lime, it was once just a bodily exchange … (however) the sound was once an excessive amount of from the ’80s.”
Nonetheless, Lime’s sound has reverberated in recent circles with the assistance of Unidisc. The corporate’s possession of Lime’s catalogue intended the label may just reissue and transform previous recordings.
Lately, that integrated recruiting Canadian dance manufacturers Jacques Greene and Tiga to supply remixes of the duo’s vintage singles.
Francis Cucuzzella, who manages artist members of the family at Unidisc, stated there was once a documentary on Lime being made in cooperation with the past due LePage. Whilst the undertaking is now in limbo, he hopes it’ll sooner or later be finished and launched.
A funeral is deliberate in Montreal for Sept. 4.
Editors’ notice: The Canadian Press consulted friends and family of Denis LePage, who additionally went through Nini Nobless, to resolve which names and pronouns they imagine they might have most well-liked for this tale. The musician used their names and pronouns interchangeably of their later years.
&reproduction 2023 The Canadian Press