mardi 30 juin 2009

Loni Clark - U (1994) Johnny Vicious mixes

"U" was not Loni Clark's biggest hit, especially as she did actually have a couple of bona fide garage hits in the UK and US, i.e. Rushing and Love's Got Me (On A Trip So High).

A Mood II Swing protégé, their great production, her great voice and the great early nineties all conspired to give her a couple of classic tunes... and a couple only: by 1996 her career (or garage career at least) took a serious and seemingly definitive nosedive.

"U" did get a UK release with added K-Klass remixes, but for me nothing can touch the completely demented Johnny Vicious remixes. Released on the Nervous sister label Sorted (specialised in druggy tracks, as the label clearly indicates) Johnny was at the top of his game at this time. His Slinky vocal remix is completely off the wall, with trademark stabs and discordant arrangement giving the whole thing a very weird and entrancing feel. However it's the Play-Doe dub that was the killer track for me: completely nuts, with a slow-it-down-speed-it-up-again part that used to devastate dancefloors at the time. Classic stuff.

I met Johnny in Paris around the time of the track, and was in touch with him until recently about "U" which he was hoping to find the time to hook out of his computer. That was a year ago, but I suppose he's a busy guy. I also asked Nervous if they were intending on releasing the track digitally. Kevin Williams from "marketing/A&R/promotions" said that he'd look into it, and that I should "keep a look out".

That was in February 2006, so I'm not holding my breath for a legal download any time soon.

What I've posted is a quality vinyl rip, de-clicked, EQ'd and boosted to get it sounding crisp. The original vinyl is pretty easy to find (here), but no-one seems to have a decent digital copy. Until Johnny finds time to go through his DAT archives or Nervous get their back catalogue online - finally - this should tide you over.

You can download
Loni Clark - U (Slinky vocal) here (15MB)
Loni Clark - U (Play-Doe dub) here (12MB)

lundi 29 juin 2009

Michael Jackson -
Thriller (OOFT Music Phazed edit & Fist retouch)

Michael Jackson had long been in that category of best-work-behind-them for me (Madonna's in there too). He made some tracks that redefined music, then he did a lot of crap, was miserable and went mad. Soon, (if he's not plastinated) he'll look like one of the dancers in his Thriller video.

Of course we have him to thanks for many classic tracks and remixes. My favourite was probably the OOFT Music Phazed edit of Thriller, as it stays pretty faithful to the original, removing most of the vocals and relentlessly working that funky hook. It's subtle and clever at the same time, and I even bought the CD after hearing it on a blog a couple of years back. However, the OOFT version does keep in a few elements from the video (i.e. a long break) that I wasn't really keen on, so I did my own version with the break removed (plus an extra quick bit of filter), and here it is.

You can download my slightly retouched version of
Thriller (OOFT Music Phazed edit) here

jeudi 25 juin 2009

Mariah Carey - Emotions (1991) C&C mixes

I never thought of myself as a Mariah Carey fan. In fact, I always thought of Mariah Carey fans as a bit naff. She's so obviously a product that surely a music fan with taste couldn't take her seriously, right?

Well, the above notwithstanding, she did have some cracking songs (although this is no longer the case as far as I can tell), and her relationship with Clivilles & Cole and especially David Morals have harvested some classic tracks. So let's say I'm a fan of some Mariah Carey remixes, and not really mad about the busty train wreck that she's become.

There are whole blogs devoted to MC and this is not one of them, but I came across this track somewhere and - dammit - fell in love. The CD-single of the C&C remixes is very hard to find now, and I had to splurge a bit to get my hands on one. After 2 months, a missed recorded delivery and some to-ing and fro-ing to Germany and back, I finally have it and really wanted to put the vocal and the dub together.

It wasn't especially difficult, although the mastering is very different on the two mixes and I had to juggle with the volume to make one flow into the next seamlessly. I was also able to correct a master error where there was a slight flutter on one channel at one point.

The production on these tracks - as with most C&C remixes - is amazing, especially on the rhythmic elements. My fusion is 13'25" long and hopefully makes it even more enjoyable to listen to.

You can download Mariah Carey - Emotions
(C&C 12" Club N°1/Dub-Dub mix Fist fusion)
as an audiophile FLAC file here (95MB)
or an iPod-friendly AAC file here (25MB).

vendredi 19 juin 2009

Tito Puente - Ran Kan Kan (1992)

It's hard to fault the Masters At Work productions of the early nineties. The boys had loads of ideas, great technical skills and a feel for the dancefloor that just blew everyone else out of the water.

Even more surprising was their versatility, being able to handle dubs, vocals, jazz influences, jeep beats... all this through their experience as DJs and heritage as latino Americans.

The collaborations with Tito Puente were also remarkable for radical reworks that made the tracks unrecognisable whilst still keeping their trademark hooks. Personally, I would love to find Para Los Rumberos on CD (only the Puente's Vibe mix was on the first of their BBE compilations), but in the meantime I find it hard to believe that Ran Kan Kan has been overlooked on the blogs.

This of one the first tracks by MAW that I really loved, and it seems that no-one has posted the CD-single yet, although a vinyl rip was available on the Masters at Work Forever blog, now - ironically - dormant (and much missed).

So for those who like their vintage MAW in pristine quality, click here for the five mixes of Ran Kan Kan, including the absolutely storming original! (46MB .rar file).

mercredi 17 juin 2009

Sandy B - Feel Like SIngin' (1992) - UPDATED

Bit of a no brainer this one. A classic track that I was reminded of by the Nineties Club CD Singles blog (again).

Listening to the two Morales mixes, it was obvious that one would easily be melded into the next with a little jiggery-pokery, so I tacked the Erotica mix onto the Def Classic mix, cut out some of the vocals that were repeated in the second half, and it came out really well.

With a long mix (13'22" here!), it's important not to get bored, but here there's always something new, and it's well dosed: a bit of vocals, a bit of the dub, a bit of piano. You have to marvel at the skill of David Morales - the dub is basically built round just three piano notes. Very clever stuff.

UPDATE - Finally got round to buying this for myself. Now in higher quality, and hosted on Soundcloud, but no download: the Morales mix is available to buy on the usual sites, although strangely the Erotica mix isn't. Send me your proof of purchase and I'll send you my fusion. How about that? Otherwise, you can listen below.

lundi 8 juin 2009

Titiyo - Back & Forth (1993)

I suspect that the release of Titiyo's album "This Is" in the 'States in 1993 was partly due to the success of her previous one, and partly because she just happens to be Neneh Cherry's baby sister.

With such a sniggersome artist name and unfortunate double-entendre single title, it's no wonder that Back & Forth didn't really make its mark in England, however it did include a couple of remixes from young upstarts Masters At Work (as did the follow-up single Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming). Both were undiscovered classics for me until a few years ago. Both show MAW at their inventive best at the beginning of the nineties (yes, again).

In Back & Forth's case, the vocal mix sounded very different from the the dub - which is basically an instrumental excursion with added sax solo - but I had the feeling that the beats at the end of the one would meld well into the instrumental beginning of the other, and I think I was right! With a little extra tweaking and sampling, they came together to make one brilliant 11-minute whole, and I especially like the surprising change of mood between the two (surprising because it seems to flow quite naturally). Have a listen if you like...

You can download Titiyo - Back & Forth
(Masters At Work 12"/Horny dub Fist fusion)
as an audiophile FLAC file here (72MB)
or an iPod-friendly AAC file here (20MB).