The Antipodeans VS ICEHOUSE: Hey Little Girl – DL 
- Hey Little Girl [extended mix] 7:09
- Hey Little Girl [radio mix] 4:11
- Hey Little Girl [Mark + Danny’s extended disco mix] 7:11
- Hey Little Girl [Mark + Danny’s disco mix] 4:46
It was about three weeks ago when we first encountered the phenomenon of The Antipodeans VS ICEHOUSE reworking the 1982 classic, “Hey Little Girl,” and much has happened since then. The original luscious purple vinyl 12″ [250 copies] is now supplanted by immediate gratification DLs in the usual online stores as of October 29th; placing this treat within easy reach worldwide. We’ve had the promo to digest for a bit now so let’s get right to the proper review, shall we?
Synths breaking like waves, transported us immediately into the heart of song with Iva Davies front and center and virtually no intro buildup. The original vocal was used here and given a prominence much more central in the mix as compared to the original. The ticking rhythm referenced the original Latinesque [almost cha-cha] beats while being more streamlined. Synth bass enhanced the bass line which was present in the first version but explicitly added extra groove only alluded to back then. The angular funk hooks were throwing more elegant shapes on the dance floor.
The firm beats were tricked out with compression and a longer delay; bringing to mind the drum track to Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.” A great thing to be reminded of. I liked the tension that what I can only call a synthetic pick scrape following a descending synth line added to the mix. The midpoint of the song was punctuated by a synth crescendo that had the class to drop out for the last two beats of the bar an oscillating synth hook faded up for a rhythmic wallop that heightened the complexity of this version.
The chilled out middle eight dropped out most of the rhythm except for hi-hat to let the atmospheric sustained synth leads dominate for a few bars before Iva was given a dose of dubspace while the bass drum circled back and prepped us for a second drop as the climax of the song got underway. It was at that point where Davies’ original pitch shifted falsetto backing vocals made their now expected appearance. This version didn’t fade in the coda, but after the vocals ended, the bass line continued for another two bars before ending cold on a white noise percussion hit. It’s very sleekly done, so why not watch the very synthwave-y video below?
Where the Radio Mix sought a subtle refashioning of the classic song, Mark + Danny’s Disco Mix took deeper liberties in crafting a version that certainly lived up to its name. The song began with bass drums and handclaps setting the slightly slower tempo. The vibe was chilled and laid back, but definitely grooving. The funky bass lines were fortified with rhythm guitar filigree and bursts of wah-wah energy, with synths relegated to supporting status this time out.
In this setting, Davies was more secondary to the rhythm and syncopation in the mix. The first verse found the contrapuntal synth leads of the 1982 version back but dancing around Davies’ vocal by a half beat; upping the propulsive discofunk quotient of the song. The second verse had some glorious arpeggios added, along with some new drum fills to keep the strut in the song moving. Listening to this, I can vividly imagine the bass player in the band playing this, effervescently moving in choreographed synchronization with the rest of the band onstage. In matching outfits to give Earth, Wind + Fire [ca. 1978] some serious competition.
The middle eight isolated Davies over echoing sequencer and spartan synth pads. Then a snare loop faded up that climaxed with another drop inserted into the disco framework to remind us what century it really was. The climax once again brought out Davies falsetto backing vocals to follow through to the song’s end. The beat in the coda then dropped out for an abrupt ending with the synth pad reverberating for another few seconds. The Antipodeans have delivered a pitch perfect nu-disco soundtrack to a night of clubbing in Australia’s Gold Coast hotspots.
Delightfully, with two very different versions of the song provided, the duo have resisted the temptation to add anything that would upset the balance they have aimed for in this package. The extended versions here were just that! Old school extended versions that generously enhanced the tracks with extended built up intros that the short mixes lacked and instrumental passages and codas fit for cruising while not losing the plot by throwing in a lot of effects and edits. In short, tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1982!
So it looks like The Antipodeans have given this song the love it deserves and kicked off their project by adding their DNA to a stone cold Oz synth classic. Dan Muller and Mark Vick are taking a half-step out of their traditional DJ roles and applying their skills to the sort of music that was filling dance floors before raves existed. Meanwhile, they have topped the charts of Australia’s KISS-FM dance music station with “Hey Little Girl [extended mix],” so the power and class of Icehouse is reaching modern ears, and that can only be a good thing. But what’s next for The Antipodeans, who’ve proven their love of synth-rock with this single? And just how did this single happen, anyway?
Why not join us on the next posting when we talk with the band and find out?
Next: …Mark And Dan Discuss The Art Of The Respectful Remix