Kevin Saunderson, History Elevate 4

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Fans of this website are no doubt aware of the remix series which has seen a host of modern techno and house luminaries breathe fresh life into classic Kevin Saunderson productions on KMS. “History Elevate” has given our ears a few sensational pieces of music, some of which may indeed emerge as classics in their own right. These mixes couldn’t have arrived at a better time to pose interesting questions about the role of Detroit in forging the template of modern techno. A lot of neo-Detroit records have hit the bins in the past few years, many of which have been fashionable pastiche paying homage to the idea of Detroit techno while failing to innovate in the way the originals did. For reference, see Don Williams, “Detroit Red” — more or less a bare bones tool with a basic beat and vocal repeating “the city of Detroit” — which nevertheless seemed to generate buzz on the ‘net. In fact, it’s noteworthy that many of the best reworks have jettisoned most of the original elements for almost entirely new tracks: Mathew Jonson’s take on Inner City’s “Good Life,” already discussed in these pages, is a clear example.

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Another is Luciano’s remix of “Good Love,” which will undoubtedly form one of the brightest jewels in the crown of an already strong series. Luciano uses fairly typical Cadenza-style drums that are funky, breezy and propulsive all at once to build a suitably gorgeous remix around Paris Grey’s devilishly sensual original vocal. The raggedy synth line and hints of female orgasm he adds might have completed the track for some producers. However, the addition of a low and somewhat detached sounding bass note (reminiscent of the one Shackleton uses on “Blood On My Hands”) propels Luciano’s mix into very different territory than “let’s get the job done and call it a day.” Not only does the bass seem to do the impossible by drawing even more sultry depth out of the vocal, it also puts an irrefutably original stamp on the track. In this manner Luciano has probably provided a good lesson to people who are “neo” anything, namely that former glory is only done justice by interpretations glorious in their own right.

Jesse Rose doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to be someone else; he is true to form. The problem is his current sound is jacking but not very interesting, and neither is his “World of Deep” remix. It brings some harmony and warmth to the fold and is very four to the floor, sounding just a hair shy of becoming the sort of commercial house that might grace the next Ministry of Sound mix. In short, it’s not imitation but nor is it likely to be imitated in decades to come, although whatever was next to this Luciano mix was bound to be just a flipside anyway.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds July Charts  on July 29, 2008 at 7:23 PM

[…] Kevin Saunderson, “Good Love” (Luciano’s Good Love Remix) [KMS] (buy) Colin already did a good job describing Luciano’s series-beating remix of “Good Love,” but my enthusiasm overfloweth. […]

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