Yesterday we began a thread for what commenter Echorich deemed “Epic Epoch” remixes. 12″ remixes that were so astounding that they justified all of the dreadful remixes that make up the bulk of the form. Right now, I’m in a culling mood, and I’ve sold off deep collections of remixes, but by the same token, the new remixes that I am buying are some of the best I’ve heard in over 20 years. So the overall theme to my life of late has been: out with the bad, and in with the good. That “the bad” is music 20+ years old, and “the good” is brand new music, is a cheerful and welcome turn of events for the perennially backward-looking Monk! I don’t want to only view life through my rear-view mirror. So let’s get down to some more mixes that fill one with zest for life and all of its myriad possibilities.
The Blow Monkeys | It Pays To Be [Long] | 1988
This was my favorite remix of 1988, technically, the beginning of the end for my relationship with daaaance music for a very long span. House music was a reductive force for my ears; grinding down the complexity of music and removing the touches that I found stimulating to emphasize elements that didn’t move me. I couldn’t say that about this release. It took a great single and turned it into a sumptuous dessert of a tune; all whipped cream and expansive filigree. The string buildups never seem to end… and keep me expecting greater and greater plateaus to come. It had the widescreen sound that most of the mixes we’ll consider on this thread share.
Mari Wilson | Baby It’s True [Discotheque Arrangement] | 1982
This was another good single turned into something grandiose for the 12″ remix. As produced by behind-the-scenes mastermind Tot Taylor, the song is a knowing pastiche of pre-Beatles British pop and fully enjoyable as that, but the 12″ pulls out all of the stops as it has been inflated into what was undoubtedly the live arrangement that took its precious time with emcee Hank B. Hive delivering a hilarious soliloquy that simultaneously introduced the band and deflated their knowing showbiz pretensions in one fell swoop.
ABC | Poison Arrow [U.S. Remix] | 1983
This was it. The grand daddy of them all. Surely the finest remix to come down the pike such as to render the already spectacular 7″ mix virtually null and void! Having spent a small fortune already on the song, it seems that Trevor Horn was given another king’s ransom to enlist a small orchestra to embellish this spectacular construction with all manner of showroom jazz band chops as the vibe shifted to something altogether more sophisticated, while retaining every inch of the over the top impact of the original mix. [applause]
Cabaret Voltaire | Sensoria [12″ remix] | 1984
This was something astounding when it surfaced in 1984… the first mashup as remixer John Potoker seamlessly stitched together parts of Cabaret Voltaire’s songs “So Right” and “Sensoria” from “Micro-Phonies” into a sledgehammer monster for the dance floor thanks to sonic glue provided by David Ball and Robin Scott. That’s a lot of cooks, but never has the broth been so powerful. In the process, Cabaret Voltaire moved into the epicenter of my interests for the next few years.
…More to come
I have to look at that Mari Wilson remix Monk. Sensoria and of course Poison Arrow – US/Jazz Mix made the cut. Blow Monkeys is a tough one…I love It Pays To Be Long but I love the Ten City remix of This is Your Life as well. The airy breeze of the former is gorgeous but the Ten City mix of the latter is tough and so energetic.
Echorich – The Mari Wilson mix was probably made on the budget for sandwiches for the “Poison Arrow” remix, but as thin as its sound is, it has miles of heart. More so than most of the tracks that will figure here, and as such, it has the transformative ability to create a new world for the listener. Surely the highest measure of success for this thread?
just listened to it on the interweb and now I MUST HAVE !! How did I miss this remix 30 yrs ago?
Echorich – You’re welcome! Don’t feel too bad! Even I didn’t hear it until probably 1986, when I started buying records mail order! Once I crossed that line*, I set about building my collections of Mari Wilson and The Rezillos/Revillos first of all!
* …And it made all the sense in the world being stuck in Central Florida where many records just never made it.
If we’re talking transformative remixes here I do have to shill for the lounge version/mantrap mix of “Poison Arrow.” I had taped Mantrap to a cassette just to get that before I found a single with a real version of it I was late to the Mari Wilson game, wish that there was a comp of this stuff out there somewhere.
Tim – I still have the laserdisc of “Mantrap!” Martin Fry can erase the tapes, but I’ll still have evidence!
Tim – The best glimpse at the candyfloss world of Mari Wilson are on the two Great Expectations CDs from [ghasp…] 22 years ago: http://www.discogs.com/Mari-Wilson-Beat-The-Beat/release/938958
Alas, the 12″ mix in question is only on vinyl… still.
Mine fell victim to laser rot before I could copy it over.
The unique thing about the lounge mix is that it is one of the few times that a song has been stripped down for me in the alternate mix and I like it as much as the original and find it respectable in it’s own way. Especially with an outfit like ABC where one finds a remix and you expect the full on disco stomp.
The extended version is fine but for me the instrumental bridges that were added are like speed bumps. They sound more like music from a Peanuts special as covered by ABC. I love Vince Guaraldi and have a huge collection of his music but the TH mix just doesn’t work for me and the default Poison Arrow mix has always been the lounge version.
Part III of Look of Love was the one from that album that blew my mind. What is it, just about four minutes long and he just keeps ramping it up and up and up. I tried for the longest time to make my own mix using the available parts but could never cut that one up just right. The now defunct Dreamtime blog had about 3-4 attempts of their own to do that and each one succeeds in it’s own way they’re quite better than Part V or the DMC/Razormaid mixes that I have heard and I’m really glad that I snagged them before Dreamtime retired.