Some cases of pro quid quo are better than others: Gerd Janson released Helium Robots’ biggest record to date on his beloved Running Back label earlier this year. In return, Tuff City Kids — his production group with Phillip Lauer — were drafted to remix the second single from the UK duo’s forthcoming debut LP. It’s a sensible combination from an aesthetic angle as well, as all involved have love for the kind of 80s synths that evoke memories and send you on an online shopping spree. TCK’s remix maintains the high standard set by their rework of Massimiliano Pagliara but is decidedly more retro, carried by broad and dusty percussion and led around by a bassy, hard-nosed synth. Yet the real triumph is the interwoven leads trying to find a higher place from which to dive, giving the tune a gradually euphoric build. It’s so well put together it makes you wonder, when can we expect original material from the Tuff City Kids? Our thanks to Helium Robots and Tuff City Kids for making this one available for free. The next drink is on us.
Helium Robots, “Bring Drinking” (Tuff City Kids Remix)]]>
Forget Omar-S’ “Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance!!,” Scuba’s “Adrenalin,” and their oblique associations with that dirtiest of dirty words, trance. Tensnake’s remix of Phillip Lauer’s “Trainmann” busts the gates wide open. With its pounding kicks, soaring pads and “Greece 2000″-inspired bass line, it’s not alluding to trance: it is trance, albeit a little slower than the historical average. And that’s without discussing the main riff. Take the joyous xylophone from “Coma Cat,” spin it into more hypnotic form, and you have the laser-reaching motif of Marco Niemerski’s “Tranceman Remix.” It’s good, there’s no doubt. But are people quite ready to accept this kind of music again?
If not, there’s always the “Franceman Remix.” It’s much more in line with Niemerski’s usual output, set around an easy, hip-shaking groove rather than an amphetamine-charged pump. And though it retains a sense of euphoria, this time it’s much more restrained, losing the xylophone in favor of drawling chords and impassioned Michael Jackson-style yelps. In fact, the resemblance between the two versions is incredibly slight. All they share is Niemerski’s prodigious talent for penning infectious hits. In the case of “Coma Cat,” this skill was able to alter many perceptions of what constitutes “cheese.” Whether it’ll be able to revive the credibility of an entire genre remains to be seen.]]>