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Friday, September 19, 2008

Glam Bam Thank You Ma'am

Last year I, as I hope everyone at one point does, went through a Bowie phase where I listened to every single Bowie album from 1970 to 1980 religiously for about a month. Along the way I also discovered the incredible English group Mott The Hoople who were on the brink of breaking up when Bowie stepped in and convinced the group to stay together by offering to both produce their next album and let them release the glam rock anthem "All The Young Dudes" he had recently written. The lead singer of Mott, Ian Hunter, went on to a solo career and released several albums in the late 70s collaborating with prominent Bowie backing band member Mick Ronson. The album You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic came out in 1979 and featured some great rock tracks in line with what Mott was doing earlier in the decade, but one darker disco rock track "Bastard" sticks out. Ian Hunter departs from his usual playful hipster tone and the track skips along with a rubbery guitar riff, while John Cale makes a guest appearance, supporting with ghostly keyboard stabs.

A Mountain Of One take the original and give it a proper reworking on this limited one-sided release (which features some awesome pattern imprinting on the b-side). The haunting AOR original transports you to a sweaty dive bar where Ian Hunter, John Cale and Mick Ronson are playing the strung out melody to a room lit a green light behind the stage. AMO1 speed the track up and give it the crescendos and pacing that the modern dance floor calls for. More and more I am finding that edits draw away from the structures and energy of the original, but AMO1 cleverly rearrange the track to a true disco rock classic, something reminiscent of "People Without Love" from their EP2 with more funk and less psychedelic flavor.

Ian Hunter - Bastard (Rework)

Changing the pace up, the new English electro-pop band City Reverb have recently released a new wavey track "City Of Lights" with dark low-end string stabs overlaid with fairly typical British pop vocals. The original doesn't really inspire me much (nor does the video for that matter), but it has certainly inspired some interesting remixes. I picked up the first remix release, which features Trevor Loveys, Reverso 68, and Beards Of Paradise (who win my award for most name for a new group this year). The Trevor Loveys and Beards Of Paradise mixes sound a bit too much like electro-house trying to be beardo for my taste, but the Loveys mix does features some bouncey acid synths. The winner here though, is the Reverso 68 remix which turns the Brit-pop into a nudisco jam. I'm particularly partial to the bouncey synths at the start which strike me as something I've heard from a 90s rave track slowed down to balearic perfection. Reverso 68 was responsible for the incredible "Piece Together" last year and several other releases on Eskimo over the last few years. This feel good track will always cheer me up, give it a listen!

City Reverb - City Of Lights (Reverso 68 Remix)

You can also download the Prins Thomas remix of the track for free from City Reverb's Myspace and anything free from PT is definitely worth it.

Last but by no means least is this remix from ages ago by Armand Van Helden of Daft Punk's timeless "Da Funk." I must say that Daft Punk was the group that got me into dance music a few years ago and while their popularity has only grown larger in lieu of their most recent live tour (which was the best live show this planet has ever seen) they have making incredible music since their acid house beginnings in 1994. A lesser known (at least amongst all the newly converted Daft fans of the last year) live set was their release from a decade earlier, Alive 1997, which featured the same kind of live manipulations they showed in Alive 2007 with their earlier material. The set is pure adrenaline-pumping house madness where DP toy with only a few tracks but exquisitely draw them out over a fantastic 45 mins. They begin the set with their original of "Da Funk" and then glide into this fantastic remix which has a fantastic bouncing synth line dancing over the thumping beat. This is a flashback to what the 90s french house music scene was all about before the robots emerged from the rubble after Discovery overturned the dance music scene in 2000, and check the live album out as well. This is from the Da Funk 12", enjoy!

Daft Punk - Da Funk (Ten Minutes Of Funk Mix)

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