DJ Relentless: Everything Old Is New Again

DJ Relentless serves up his latest mix and asks the question, "How do you go from Country Pop Princess to a Wannabe Rapper?"
Music News, Taylor Swift

It’s so hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. With all the headlines and disasters (natural and unnatural) the time flew by. And in the music industry “what’s old is new”. Oh…don’t get me wrong. There’s some new tracks but there are also some really great remixes of songs you should know coming out as well.

So, let’s get started with a reunion. I was so happy to hear that the 90s R&B group Xscape was getting back together for a tour. And I knew that there would also be some new material as well. And boy was I right. “What’s Up” has all their harmonies complete with the soundtrack of “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa. With opening acts like Monica and Tamar Braxton the tour seems to be successful. Too bad about NeNe Leakes, though. She was the MC and comic relief for the tour but was fired on October 12th after telling a heckler that she hoped heckler got raped by her Uber driver after the show in Oakland on October 9th. I think in this day and age when words and intentions should matter, I think they did the right thing by letting her go.

And since Xscape used samples of “Planet Rock” I actually found a new remix of the 80s Break-Dance Classic. The Vanilla Ace Remix turned this piece of B-Boy history into a serious House track.

And since we’re on a House tip…the new RELOUD Remix of “Work It To The Bone” by LNR revisits another Classic. You know I always love introducing a younger audience to what was the basic foundation for most of our music today. There would be no Club music today without Disco and House Music.

But let’s jump back to the future. The next two tracks really gave me life when I got them through my digital record pool. “Inside The Groove” by Botnek made me think of my days of dancing on the floor surrounded by Klub Kids, Drag Queens and Bridge-N-Tunnel Wannabe(s) at The Limelight in New York City via 1993. “Bass Rock” brought me back to the after-hours scene of partying at some unmarked loft in SOHO via 1998. These kids today think they know what parties are, but honestly…how could they if all they do is stare at their phones instead of dancing and feeling the music?

And now to segway from a hard warehouse vibe to something for the Latin Club scene. “LOCO” by NERVO x Danny Avila featuring Reverie mixes the energy of a Four-To-The-Floor production with a Spanish Guitar followed by Barry Harris’ Remix of “Havana” by Camila Cabello. In my normal fashion, I always try to make sure everyone gets served.

And even though I reviewed the original version of this track a few months ago, I just had to bring “Mi Gente” by J balvin & Willy William back after Barry Harris brilliantly clubbed it up and they added featured vocals by Beyonce for the remix. Definitely one of the hottest tracks in a while!

Okay…I am SO not a fan of Taylor Swift. I still think she is “mean girl”. I have not forgiven her for lying about her image used in the Kanye West “Famous” video. I didn’t care for her whining about her losing a couple of dancers to Katy Perry. She’s petty! She comes from money and has enough to buy as many high positions on the charts to be listed in the dictionary under “Payola”. But unfortunately, she is going to win her feud with Katy Perry the same way Nicki Minaj won her feud with Remy Ma….saturation. Taylor has the money to put out highly polished videos to sell her propaganda. Nicki has the backing to be marketed and guest on everyone’s videos. You can’t sell records without an online presence.

Katy Perry seemed like she was gonna serve Taylor severely when she performed “Swish Swish” on SNL at the beginning of the summer. I guess she had not thought out her American Idol deal and promoting her latest album. Taylor is not tied to a TV show that taping right now. She can begin her Pop reign with TV appearances and of course expensive music videos. Which brings us to her latest single, “…Ready For It”. I’m sure there will be plenty of remixes to come. And I’m sure she will have the top names work on them. But for now, the original version dips its toe into the Trap genre. And with every new release, she seems to want to be a “rapper”.

How do you go from Country Pop Princess to a Wannabe Rapper?

Something that’s old but new are all these 90s R&B hits that are being remade into Trap and Drum N’ Bass hybrids. Up next is a very different re-imagined version of “Too Close” by Next. I like this one for someone stripping on a pole, but the original will always hold the “Dat’s My Jam” award!

And here is another reimagined Classic….”Moments In Love” by Art Of Noise. I first got introduced to the original when watching the evening gown competition for a drag pageant in Tampa, Florida back in 1986. It was very elegant and worked well with the commentator’s voice. Well, the Trayze Remix totally changes this vibes. Not sure how to dance to this one but I do like it. And remember…my goal here is to introduce you to new music. What you do with it is your business…hopefully you learn to appreciate variety.

Now of course there are Club remixes of Kelly Clarkson’s “Love So Soft” but I kinda fell in love with the Collipark Remix of this sassy track.

And now let’s give you something to twerk and bounce to. “Water Dance” by Chris Porter featuring Pitbull makes me giggle when I hear it. The title makes me think of someone dancing around because they have to wait in line for the restroom.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me for “Gas Pedal” by Sage The Gemini. It occurred to me that I had seen his name in my pool but hadn’t been impressed with any of his tracks since that one. Well, that changed when I heard “Come Get It” featuring P-Lo. It’s definitely Twerk-able!

For years now I have been mixing “Rise” by Herb Alpert with “Hypnotize” by Notorious BIG. Why? because the backing track is a sample from this 70s Classic by the “A” in A&M Records….Mr. Alpert. Finally, Casual Connection got smart and used more of the track to remix this Hip Hop Classic by Mr. Christopher Wallace aka Biggie.

And to close out the mix I chose a track that uses a stolen hook from “Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes. “Feel It Still” by Portugal The Man is a peculiar track. There are Club mixes as well but I chose the dEVOLVE Remix with its Moombahton flava.

DJs & Music

Sr. Music Contributing Writer - A disc jockey since 1980, DJ Relentless has a career that has spanned from local dive bars to major club venues all over the United States, Amsterdam, the Dominican Republic and Toronto.