Tom Noble, Dancing Hard

[Clone Loft Supreme Series]

If you’re looking for boogie and 80s disco-funk revivalism, you could do worse than such an ardent digger as Tom Noble. His take on the sound is as studied as they come, and a prime example of this is “Dancing Hard,” which he originally released on his In Liger Vision EP back in 2010. As if he realized his chops were getting stronger (which they really seem to be — check “Malaco” on Future Times’ Vibe 2 compilation for proof), Noble reworked the piece himself and then passed on a copy to Al Kent for a remix.

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Nevertheless, the original “Dancing Hard,” which doesn’t appear here, doesn’t necessarily need a rework. It’s a boisterous slice of stomping, house-party funk, led by an invitingly wriggling bass line and underscored by warm cassette grain. Noble’s remix picks up the pace more than anything, adding weightier drums, lightly modifying the bass line, and draping fluttery synthesizer on top. Al Kent’s version, meanwhile, is even tighter. Kent recruited some actual players — guitarist Kev McShane and keyboardist Ray Harris — and they flesh out the original’s feeling to its logical conclusion, turning convivial into flat-out celebratory. The band fully exploit the space in Noble’s original, filling it with nimble guitar and a soaring, portamento sine wave. Both sides present immaculately tailored versions that do justice to the concept of “dancing hard,” and show how good an idea reworking old tracks can be.

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