There’s a lot going on. So, welcome to “Indian Summer”. Unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year are really effecting all of us. Bumble Bees are confused. Allergy season is getting out of control. And folks don’t know what they are supposed to be wearing outside. The soundtrack is slightly different for this time of year as well. Time to dive right in and get to what’s shaking up the game in the music industry right now.
After being in Canada for almost 8 years, I still haven’t gotten used to their order of holidays. Their Thanksgiving is in October…before Halloween. Which means that there is a mixture of turkey dinner ads, costumes and early Christmas ads on TV here. And the thought of Christmas makes me think of losing George Michael last year.
Our first track is a Nile Rodgers reworking of a B-side George Michael track from 1990 called “Fantasy”. I vaguely remember the original, but Mr. Rodgers really awakened the vocal and lyrics with a catchy funky riff. I actually enjoy listening to this one while exercising.
One night I was searching for LGBT music videos to play for my weekly video night and came across an artist who calls himself The Hound. He had this really sexy downtempo Pop video called “Can’t Let You Go”. Visually, I felt it was perfect for my night but it needed a little something to make it more DJ friendly. So, I began playing around with it, sped it up a little and added some conga percussion. And now it is set for any DJ to drop it in their set.
Back in August, Pink received the “Michael Jackson Vanguard Award” at the 2017 VMAs. Her acceptance speech was so inspiring. She used her time to talk to her daughter about not conforming and embracing androgyny. She spoke of the beauty of being different and always being true to yourself. I have loved her music since L.A. Reid presented her as an R&B artist back in 1999 with “There You Go”. We watched her evolve into a true icon of Pop Music. I fell in love with her as a songwriter when I heard “Dear Mr. President” in 2006. She has always stood with the outsiders and the disenfranchised. And her support of the LGBT community has been loud and clear. So, I generally always support her music.
The Pink Panda Mix of her latest single “What About Us” seemed perfect for this set. Pink’s lyrics really touch upon the angst of surviving relationships and making them work. And although there are plenty of harder remixes out there, this one seems more appropriate for her words and sentiment.
Normally, Kendrick Lamar’s music misses my radar because of his Trap speed tracks. Only when someone gets clever and remixes his stuff that I jump on it. I’m just not a Trap guy. I need some more to inspire me to move. It’s nice to listen to but for me personally I’m not feeling it (especially on a dance floor all night). I need variety. I want everyone to get served. Good example…when I heard the Uproot Andy Remix of Kendrick’s “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna, I began to bounce around in my seat (‘cuz I was sitting at my desk). I was like…”Dayum!” I knew that this was something that I would play “N & R” (nightly and regardless if anyone danced or not) because I loved it. The Afro-Beat production gave me life. And that’s what I feel we are missing in the club these days.
None of us can seem to get away from the events that have affected the world these days. And if three hurricanes don’t awaken the non-believers in global warming, I don’t know what will. I was so happy to see so many people reaching out and helping each other in these rough times. And when I read that Janet Jackson not only was donating proceeds from her opening show for her tour to the Harvey Relief Fund in Texas but she also went to the shelters to visit the people. I just hope that the generosity continues for those in need in Florida and most importantly, Puerto Rico. (USA Today)
I found this gem of a remix for her classic “Got ‘Til It’s Gone”. Still in the lane of Afro-House, D-Malice’s Afro Expression Mix breathed new life this track. I know that Janet fans are really excited to see her return. I just hope that she works with the right producers for her next album. She needs something completely different or to take a serious turn into a new genre.
The title of this next track grabbed my attention as soon as I read it…”Disco Tits” by Tove Lo. The Kay Stafford At The Ibiza Beach Remix was right for this set. But unfortunately I couldn’t find any information about who the person is. I was totally surprised to find out that Kay is actually a male DJ/Producer. I wanted to give him some props for his consistent work. Hopefully he reads this and shares some kind of bio on his facebook page.
I guess since it’s still warm, these summer type anthems are still appropriate. Our next track is “Came Here For Love” by Sigala featuring Ella Eyre. Good crossover Pop Dance that reminds me of partying on the beach.
You know that I love it when one of my favorite songs gets a great makeover and reworking. The Ed Marquis Bootleg of Justin Timberlake’s “My Love” served me quite lovely. Those phat synths and that bounce made me wanna move.
I have a question…”Are there no new ideas out there for songwriters?”
The trend of reworking and appropriating lyrics of older songs seems like the signature thing to do these days. I like The Weeknd but his latest remixed track sounds very familiar to my 80s ears. Elements of “Talking In Your Sleep” by The Romantics are definitely a part of the melody and lyrics of this track. But I was pleased to find the Lord N’ Mixshow music video for my video night.
When I saw that Dave Aude had remixed Bruno Mars’ “Versace On The Floor” I got excited. When I heard his mix…I was not. It’s a good remix but it’s only around 100 BPMs. I was hoping for something around 125 BPMs. Thank goodness Barry Harris met the call. And there’s even a remixed music video for it as well.
Now, this next track has been around since April but those half speed Hip Hop tracks just don’t do it for me. And since I have been looking for remixed videos I keep coming across these really creative concepts. The DJ Mon Booty Remix served up some “Thong Song” energy with a little Miami Bass inspired beats for Ludacris’ “Vitamin D”.
You ever listen to a song all the time and realize that you missed a really important lyric? I have been listening to Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” for years and totally missed the first line…”Do you remember the twenty-first day of September”. Shameful! So last month when I happen to be flipping channels on the 21st, it was played all day on talk shows. Well, to quote Dawn Davenport from “Female Trouble”…”Why, I felt like a damn fool!” So, I decided to throw the Throttle Remix in the mix for us old timers like myself who still appreciate the old skool jams.
And speaking of old skool….it always makes me laugh when I hear some 20 something year old request some “Old Skool”. What they mean is play something from the 90s. I’ve been a DJ since 1980. Old Skool encompasses the 70s and 80s for me. But here’s one for the young-ins….”Walkin’ On The Sun” by Smash Mouth. This Pop hit just got a serious makeover and the Dirty Disco Mainroom Remix made me take notice. Again….I like when everyone gets served.
And since we are in the 90s, lets appropriate an appropriated hit from back then and remix and repackage it. “The Bomb” by The Bucketheads back in the 90s was taken from a 70s hit from the band Chicago called “Street Player” where they swiped a phrase that says “Street Sounds Swirlin’ Through My Mind”. This turned into “These Sounds Fall Into My Mind”. Well someone who goes by Massivedrum has stolen this stolen track and repackaged it as “The Bomb 2k17”.
And finally, to close out our mix, another 90s reworking of another classic Club hit. Back in 1993, a raw track on Maxi Records out of New York City came out called “Fuk Dat” by Sagat. This track seemed to embody the famous New York attitude that tourists always complained about. For us New Yorkers this was an anthem! About 5 years ago I heard a rewrite and cover of the song to update it. It was okay. Didn’t do as well as the original. But a good friend sent me the latest version and it sounds very close to the original…only with a gay sensibility about the content and vocal update. Honestly…I thought I was listening to the late Sahara Davenport from Drag Race (may she rest in peace). The voice is very close. But “Funk Dat” by Nickodemus featuring The Illustrious Blacks is quite cute and effective. It’s not the original but it is a good homage to it.