Over a year ago, we delved fearlessly into the strange and eerie world of Roxy Music post-modern remixes; those mixes done decades/generations later than when the discs were current. This can be a highly variable path to tread, but we’re fearless in this regard at PPM. Only a few remixes I’ve heard can completely sap the will to live! The bald fact was that there was yet one more Roxy Music pomo remix issued that we didn’t review. Then the Simple Minds Rock G.P.A. hit and we lost the blog for a good half of a year! Today we finally catch up, if only to give myself time to give the new Visage album a proper listening [you’ve been warned]. So without further ado, let’s strap on those platform shoes for this little remix.
Roxy Music: Love Is The Drug Todd Terje Disco Dub US DL 
- Love Is The Drug [Todd Terje Disco Dub] 7:04
- Avalon [Lindstrom + Prins Thomas Version] 6:51
The title of the mix comes right out and lays its cards on the table. Todd Terje has crafted an almost mystical remix of this robust Roxy classic that plays as if it had been remixed in Jamaica during the year of its release, which given the reggae [and disco] DNA of the original song, is a conclusion that’s as right as rain. That means that Ferry’s vocals are heavily dubbed with way too much echo, yet still allow the listener to follow the lyrical story that unfolds in the desperate dance of seduction that is the song’s stock-in-trade. The basslines were enhanced in the soundfield and the clavinet and timbales in particular, were goosed in the mix to dispel all sense of propriety still left in the original song to create an even hazier miasma of dread and desire. It seems as if Terje added more timbales and clavinet, but it’s done so with the utmost “taste.”
This remix reeks of leather, chrome and shag carpeting. The timbale breakdown between verses one and two are accompanied by heavy reverb artifacts that give way to cowbell voodoo and John Gustafson’s tarpit bassline. Then a crescendo of garish synth sinewaves sweep the listener on to verse two. The breakdown that follows verse two gives the hideously funky clavinet a moment in the spotlight before the coda returns to give the listener the bum’s rush from the club. Closing time, pal. The disco ball has a few more shards of light to send out into the night until it’s all dark and the club, and your car, are empty for the ride home. Since I can’t embed the player from Soundcloud, the like below will have to do. By all means give it a click if you’ve not had the pleasure.
I have the feeling that they saved the best for last with these pomo remixes, as I really can’t imagine anything more groovy than this was. Terje pulls off an incredible feat of putting his mind in the year 1975 and pulls out all of the stops to simulate what daring thinkers might have done 40 years ago, with the technology available, had they only known that Jamaican dub reggae was actually the future of club music.
– 30 –
Right from the start, this remix makes it’s mark. Instead of a sputtery Triumph TR7, revving up the opening moments of the song, we have a Tesla S-Type slingshotting into the song. This remix moves! And it’s really a dub mix in execution instead of just name only.
Echorich – If I had a nose full of nickels for every instrumental mix labelled a “dub mix” in my Record Cell, I daresay I’d be a wealthy man! This was actually the real McCoy for a change. Terje deserved some sort of award for this mix. It’s best of breed.
I fully agree.
As iconic as this bassline is, it always bugs me when I hear the original mix, it’s just so loud it masks the rest of the track, it sounds unbalanced to me. Distracting.
Some random navel-gazing on the engineering of this mix….
In this mix with all the dub effects, it sounds like he’s heavily using two classic delays: a Roland Space Echo and a Lexicon PCM42. Hard to say for sure, but those would be my guesses… *except* there is so much precision in the changes in modulation. It’s too perfect and consistent to have been done by hand, so that indicates that this mix was done, as virtually all music is these days, in some DAW software (likely ProTools, maybe Logic or Ableton) using Space Echo or PCM42 software clones in a plug-in environment.
JT – Maybe I should have been more clear. I don’t doubt for a second that any contemporary remix isn’t created in a DAW with plug ins. That’s just how we roll today. What did get noticed was that he used effects [even as plug-ins] that were concurrent with the original song.
Oh, I wasn’t even responding to your comments, I was just musing!