From the DJ’s perspective; since Larry Levan’s early days at the Paradise Garage, the remix – or playing different versions of songs – was one of the first notable aspects of what we now know as DJ Culture. His ethic of refreshing successful dancefloor movers in the late seventies passed down generations of DJ has been long-established as almost a perfunctory task, almost a must-do to be undertaken by the disk jockey.
Each year sees new versions of old gems. Some, which even those of us remember in our fresher days, first time around. Occasionally you find that some years produce more than others. This year has already delivered a glut of new-oldies which even by now has you scratching your head and widening your eyeballs at the frequency of remix deliveries.
Yes; in fitting with the northern hemisphere’s hedonism season, this year’s array of tracks is more-than-likely to guarantee multiple hands in the air and is quite remarkable. Especially considering how anthemic - many of these were in their first lifetimes. You only have to look at either Beatport, Traxsource or Juno’s 2018 remix collections to see this. Or even the number of free downloads on Soundcloud – lesser-known producers with their takes on classics, trying to gain support and not to be sniffed at, either.
So far in 2018; we’ve had Underworld’s Born Slippy, Energy 52’s Café Del Mar, Shakedown’s At Night and Junior Jack’s E-Samba. Not to mention the rarer, more trainspotter tunes such as The Disco Evangelists’ De Niro, LSG’s Netherworld or Banco de Gaia’s Heliopolis. Even non-house music pearls such as Massive Attack’s Teardrop have been given a recent, respectable once-over.
This week sees the release of a quite delicate rework, which could divide – or unite – opinions of dancefloor purists (although the latter is far more probable). Maceo Plex has undertaken the task of reinventing “Bladerunner” by the aptly-named artist, Remake. As such a heightened bootleg from the early nineties, it would require special attention to be a success, one would think. Championed twenty-five years ago by most household DJ names from the formative years of clubland – it would add another badge to the American, Plex’s impressive musical arsenal.
Remixes could; for us addicts of the late night (and all day) tiles – signify the cycle of life and its trends or simply “what goes around” comes back around, only with a few tweaks. As David Bowie once said, “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff I can steal from.”