Finest Remixes [part 7]

Shep Pettibone, chilling on the high seas in 2006

Shep Pettibone, chilling on the high seas in 2006

Here are a couple more mandatory mixes as I have but minutes to blog today.

new order - truefaithCDVUKANew Order | True Faith [Remix] | 1988

Mixer Shep Pettibone was all but impossible to avoid if you bought any 12″ daaaaaaaance music in the mid-late 80s. His house stylings were as missable as anyone else’s to these ears, but the remix of New Order’s stupendous “True Faith” certainly rose to the occasion of greatness. The 12″ version if fine, but the song really takes flight with the 12″ remix, by Pettibone. He expertly used rhyrhmic pressure points to almost give the motorik masterpiece a hint of hip-hop feel that added a dollop of funk to the irresolute machine vibe there. I only heard the remix when I bought the semi-legendary CDV format of that single. More often than not, Pettibone delivered perfectly serviceable remix work, but not usually more. Not this time.

spandau ballet - I'llflyforyouUK12ASpandau Ballet | I’ll Fly For You [Glide Mix] | 1984

Aha! The last Spandau remix classic that I had alluded to earlier in this series! “I’ll Fly For You” failed to impress in its original mix; being merely another in the seemingly endless series of MOR post-“True” ballads that Gary Kemp got sucked into churning out in a sad attempt to hold onto the brass ring. The glide mix of “I’ll Fly For You,” is a perfectly named, radical re-recording of the song that has been seriously invested with some dramatic and abstract jazz DNA. I’d almost call this ambient dub jazz! In place of the typical sturdy Tony Hadley crooning, this dramatic re-arrangement of the tune had Hadley reciting the lyrics breathlessly instead, with only a few points where he broke into song. The EQ alone on this mix is full of radical shifts in emphasis. It was the quintessence of smoky, late night listening and it was one of my very favorite remixes of 1984.

china crisis - blackmanrayUK12AChina Crisis | Animalistic [A Day At The Zoo Mix] | 1985

Sometimes it’s not the A-side that got the love. In 1985, the first single from the then-new China Crisis album arrived with an A-side the same as the 3:36 album track. The mixing was instead lavished on the B-side. The appropriately named “A Day At The Zoo Mix” of the cheerful, if slight tune “Animalistic” was like nothing else that I’d heard at that time. After the tune faded out at what would have been its ending on 7″, the 12″ version featured a weird segue into what I could only describe as field recordings made at what sounded exactly like a zoo, with what sounded like Japanese instruments mixed into the recordings.

After a minute or so of this, then gradually, dub elements of the original song were re-introduced back into the mix, until the eleven minute track ended with the song reclaimed from what I can only refer to as a proto-ambient dub workout. It was a mind-blower of what could be attempted with a remix if one’s mind were open enough. I can only surmise that The Future Sound Of London heard this while still in knee-pants since this track has got to be the flashpoint of ambient dub as we know it. That it appeared as a B-side to a China Crisis 12″ single is doubly astonishing. Not that the band didn’t have ambient leanings with earlier tracks like “Dockland” or “Watching Over Burning Fields” all being legitimately part of the China Crisis DNA. Still, it’s hard to imagine a whole hip genre that descended from a China Crisis experiment.

…Ain’t no stopping us now… more remixes on Monday

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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One Response to Finest Remixes [part 7]

  1. Echorich says:

    True Faith. A great track certainly, but one which I have never really needed an extended version of. As much as I am a New Order album fan, they are certainly a brilliant singles band. They remained true to the standard of non-album singles for years making more room for album tracks once the lp’s were released. True Faith is such an immediate, bombastic single that all the remixes have tended to diminish the original’s power for me. I will grant that the Pettibone mix sound great when played in concert with Blue Monday, Confusion and the remix of 586.

    Thank you Monk for reminding me of this amazing remix of I’ll Fly For You. I am a great supporter of Parade as a just perfect record. Yes, it doesn’t cover any new ground from True, but it does hone the maturity of Spandau Ballet to wonderful effect. The Glide Mix is really sublime. I think there is going to need to be room in the playlist for this one.

    China Crisis’ Animalistic – A Day At The Zoo Mix is possibly as left field as the band could ever get. Yes the first two albums flirted greatly with things ambient and gentle, but this remix just goes there and roots itself. Ages ahead of anything which would come out, it sound great next to any early 90’s Weatherall or FSOL remix and has to be, as you so rightly surmise, an influencer.

    Like

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