jeudi 1 octobre 2009

Ultra Naté - How Long (1993)

It's funny how time can change things. I used to love Ultra Naté, then she did Free, had a huge hit worldwide and - in my opinion - ruined Strictly Rhythm forever, if not house music in general. After Free, every label started scrambling to make the catchiest, most commercial house tune possible. Things were never the same.

I bought this CD-single on import when it came out, and it reminds me of the good old days of scouring HMV for U.S. maxi-CDs with loads of mixes on them. This one had over an hour of music on it, with barely anything to throw away. The downtempo mixes are cool, the Fire Island mix went on to be the basis of Ultraflava (hence the name), and with names such as Basement Boys, Nellee Hooper and Mood II Swing how could it not be a classic?

It was the last three mixes on the CD, collaborations between Mood II Swing and Little Louie Vega that really piqued my interest though. A mixture of dubby and druggy, they worked the vocal elements and transformed the song into a Factory Bar classic. Epic, inspired stuff. I had a bit of fun putting those three mixes together into one long mix (23'14"!) and although it's not perfect (it was one of my first ever efforts) it's still pretty tasty. Things were complicated by one of the mixes not being at the same tempo as the others. Anyway, have a quick listen if you like...

When my bag was stolen from a train years ago, this CD was in it. I was so relieved to find a copy again a little later, and if you can, you should too. It's pretty scarce now ($30 on eBay!).

You can download my Ultra Naté - How Long
(Ultra's House Swing / Mood II Master /
Sound Factory Mood mix Fist fusion) here (32MB)

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