BBH: Extortion ft. Dihan Brooks, How Do You See Me Now?

[Boy’s Own Recordings]

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The short-lived duo of Jason Load and Pavel DeJesus, aka Extortion, may not have made any big waves in the global waters of dance music but one of their singles was fortunate enough to feature the remix talents of one Joey Negro. Negro (born Dave Lee) had been a veteran since the bleary summer of ’88 when he debuted as part of M-D-Emm on Transmat with 1666/Get Acidic. From those brooding, raw beginnings, Negro rose to become one of the most commercially successful remixers from England, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Lionel Ritchie. His love of disco and house music quickly shone, through; his vision was captured on his own labels like Republic (who were one of the first UK labels to license New York house and garage) and Z Records.

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Extortion’s own “U.S. Remix” on this Boy’s Own release is a competent, if fairly typical track for its day. The warm, deep house tones contain just a hint of a progressive vibe and the vocal by Dihan Brooks is a soulful, lost-man plea to her sisters. The difference being that instead of Brooks singing a cheating lover on his way, she is openly voicing her insecurities as she relates the tale of a good man she can’t keep. Negro’s main remix is a basically a beefier version of the original, just with much better production and sound. It’s a good track but Negro’s “Young Soul Rebel Mix” on the flip is the one to go for. The deep, disco bass line brings on a swell of organic instruments, from the silken horns to the live percussion feel, making for a more natural setting for Brooks’ vocals. It shows Negro’s love for the garage house sound from New York and New Jersey he was championing and his ability to take a song and completely make it his. Negro’s remixes and production showed a softer side to UK dance music that seemed at that time to be largely more concerned with acid house and the bleep of Sheffield techno.

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