samedi 23 janvier 2010

Juliet Roberts - Free Love (1992)

Of all the stories of lost garage classics of the nineties, few are as tragic as Juliet Roberts. From a jazz background, she had a string of chart hits in the early nineties, with some absolute classic remixes:

- I Want You, with ace mixes from Dancin' Danny D, K-Klass, Roger Sanchez, Junior Vasquez...

- Caught In The Middle, with stunning mixes from Roger Sanchez, Farley & Heller, David Morales,  Dancin' Danny D, Murk, and

- Free Love, with classic mixes by Dancin' Danny D and David Morales

Rarely has a dance artists had so much money poured into so many mixes by so many big names, and rarely has so much mainstream success followed. And yet, if you want to buy any Juliet Roberts remixes these days... you can't. None of the legal download platforms have them. How can labels spend so much money on tracks and then just leave them to rot in the vaults? It's a crying shame, unbelievable, baffling.

Luckily, music lovers such as Nineties Club CD Maxi Singles, Finest Def Mix, Burning The Ground and especially Hard To Find Trax do (or have done) a tremendous job of archiving and preserving these tracks.

It is completely illogical for major labels to complain about illegal downloading whilst large slices of their catalogue deliberately remain unavailable. Once people get used to searching for their favourite tracks on blogs, they'll keep doing so, rather than use the legal download platforms.

The blogs above are doing important archive work that the label itself should be looking after. They should be saluted, not vilified and erased.

Anyway, thanks to Hard To Find Trax, I picked up a Morales dub of Free Love that has never been released on CD, and added it to the end of the Morales mix. The end result is only a couple of minutes longer, but the two fit really well, and it gives the track extra energy to go just that little bit further. Extending tracks isn't necessarily about making them as long as possible, it's also about giving them a natural feel and making sure they don't outstay their welcome.

You can have a listen to my Fist fusion here:

Juliet has moved on (or back) to more jazzy territory now, and her website looks like it was made in 1994. It hasn't even been updated in the last three years and says you'll need Flash 6 to see it! Cooltempo is now reduced to nothing more than a grotty Myspace page which promises re-releases but fizzled out after a month and hasn't been updated since April 2008. Their Facebook page is completely dead too.

These remixes deserve to be available. How expensive can it be to get them out again digitally? What is the problem? I just don't get it.

You can download Juliet Roberts - Free Love (Morales Classic 12" / Club Eclipse Fist fusion) here (13MB).

(and if EMI isn't happy, then they should get their act together and make the mixes available legally. Idiots.)

mercredi 13 janvier 2010

General Public - I'll Take You There (1994)

1994, hell yeah! How can you possibly go wrong with Satoshi Tomiie remixing, aided and abetted by Johnny Vicious and Lem Springsteen?

Nevertheless, it could have been a disaster. This dodgy cover of a Staples Singers classic got a cod reggae treatment for the soundtrack of slightly dodgy-looking 90s film Threesome. The film's French title was "2 boys, 1 girl, 3 possibilities" a less concise title that accurately describes the plotline.

Anyway, after having a track on the Weird Science soundtrack and Ferris Bueller's Day Off,  General Public seemed a natural choice for Threesome; black but not too black, singing a cover version... both the tracks and the films had only mitigated success, but at least they gace us some rather ace remixes.

At the time, Sony often released 12"s and CD-singles with different mixes on each (the 12" catering more for the club crowd). Although the Hoya Tribe Trip is easy to find on CD, the Satoshi Tomiie Experience has never been released digitally, so I did a vinyl rip and cleaned it up for you. The mix is subtly but significantly different, although it also contains a slow-it-down-speed-it-up-again section, very much in fashion in the time. I have to admit it's one of my favourite tricks in a house track. Have a listen:

The Satoshi Tomiie remixes manage to turn what could have been a a train wreck into a decent piece of music. Not an absolute classic perhaps, but a commendable salvage job to be sure. Unfortunately, as is often the case for unsuccessful singles from defunct groups, it's only available second hand (which doesn't earn the label or the artist any money), so I think it's legitimate to let you download the two mixes in question in high-quality AAC.

You can get General Public's
 I'll Take You There (Satoshi Tomiie Experience) here (18MB)
and I'll Take You There (Hoya Tribe Trip) here (15MB).

mercredi 6 janvier 2010

CeCe Peniston - My first YouTube audio-only video

Gosh it's tough finding time to blog at the moment...

When I'm looking for music on the web and can't find it at Juno Download or Beatport, I inevitably try a Google blog search which will often lead me to the track on some nice person's blog.

Or not... in which case I revert to doing a standard Google search. This often brings up YouTube videos of tracks, which I always used to think was weird, but I've finally worked out that it's a whole parallel network of music lovers trying to share tracks, sometimes even identify tracks with the help of others.

Up until now, I've always posted tracks here with a link to my Soundcloud account, but the free space there is running out, and it seems no websearch can find the tracks (yet). Youtube is Soundcloud for the masses - with no downloads possible - and now that their sound quality has been hiked up, the quality is as good as a Soundcloud stream (which is 128 kbps).

So, after finding no way for people to listen to a brilliant Morales dub I recently found on the (intermittently great) Only 320 blog, I thought I'd try my hand at a YouTube video. Seems a bit of a waste of time having a fixed image attached to a track, but why not eh? The track in question is the D-Max dub of Hit By Love by CeCe Peniston, released in 1994. It was only on the US CD-single, which explains why I hadn't heard it before, and the standard vocal of the song is a bit too sugary for me now, so this came as a breathe of fresh air; concise, well-produced, hard-edged, it turns the track into an ever-evolving dubby percussive monster. I considered extending the mix, but in the end I think it's fine as it is.

Have a listen to it below (in high quality, of course). If you like it, Only 320 has it to download with the rest of the CD-single remixes here.