lundi 30 août 2010

Aretha Frank1yn - A Deeper Love (1994)

In 1994, after a lengthy and fine career, Aretha Franklin was on the decline. Robert Clivillés and David Cole however were at their prime. At the time, dance was hot, soul was not. With hindsight, it seems only logical that the latter would be hired to come to the aid of the former.

Surprisingly, it wasn't a new song that Aretha was to sing, but a cover version of a Clivilles & Cole song that had already had its share of success in 1991, "A Deeper Love". The dance crowd knew it well already, but Aretha's fans probably had no idea that this was an old track being given a second lease of life.

Although the C&C mixes of the two recordings of A Deeper Love are well known (pretty much legendary even) I didn't realise at the time that there was also a CD-single of Morales mixes released after the main ones. Even after having discovering them on the Finest Def Mix blog, I wasn't immediately bowled over.

A year on, it finally dawned on me that the lesser known Morales mixes are at least as worthy of praise as the C&C mixes. It can't be easy trying to breathe new life into the second recording of a track that has already been definitively remixed every which way.

I found a copy of the CD-single on the web, and decided to make my own long version by fusing three mixes together. At the time, I didn't realise exactly how long it would be - over 22 minutes!

I really extended the bonus beats at the beginning (there's isn't even a kick until two minutes in) and there's no trace of Aretha until the four-minute mark. I like the idea of the track starting off like some sort of unidentifiable ambient monster. The main Morales mix was already pretty long, and although the dub that I've added to the end of the vocal mix doesn't have a lot of new things to say, hopefully my extension doesn't get dull. Either way, I think my transitions between mixes are pretty elegant. Check it out for yourself.

Once again, these mixes are utterly unavailable as legal downloads, so I don't feel too bad making my take on the track available.

You can download my 22-minute version of Aretha Franklin's "A Deeper Love" (Deftramental/Bad Yard Club/Bad Yard Dub Fist fusion) (42MB) by clicking the download button on the player above.

jeudi 12 août 2010

That Dead Bloke - Black or White (1992)

There have probably been endless jokes about the prescience of this track's title, coming from a man who ended up being neither black nor white. By the time it came out, Jackson was way past his best, and the message of racial tolerance had nothing new about it, and the track wasn't scared to bludgeon you over the head with it.

Although his fame was waning, the track did well, spawing some C&C remixes that I didn't take any notice of at the time. Only recently did I relisten to them and find that they were actually a lot more palatable (for me) than the original.

Bizarrely, the CD-single is now a little difficult to get hold of (at a decent price at least), but I found one on eBay and as soon it came through, I started on making my own version. In the process I was amazed to find a least six digital clicks on the Underground Club mix, inexcusable for a release by someone this famous. I checked my CD rip against a file found on the web, and both have the same clicks at the same places. It would seem that no-one listened to the track closely enough to hear them. Luckily, with today's technology, I was able to fix everything.

So my mix takes the Tribal Beats (which aren't tribal at all), the Clivillés & Cole House / Club Mix) and the Underground Club Mix, puts them all together, removes the cheesy rap and a bit of redundant repetition, and ends up being a 14-minute rollercoaster of classic C&C-style house (meaning that it's almost cheesy but actually so well programmed and constructed that "it don't matter", as MJ says). The crossover from one mix to another took a bit of tweaking, but I think it flows pretty smoothly.

Have a listen...

You can download my 14-minute version of
Black or White by That Dead Bloke
by clicking the download button on the player above.
Hope you enjoy it.

By the way, if you still miss Michael, perhaps you could buy this cat toy from It's made with organic catnip and as your cat relentlessly licks MJ's much-operated nose and moonwalks round the room, it will undoubtedly bring back happy memories of dancing to Thriller in your bedroom.

Less than $8. A bargain.