Friday, 18 May 2012
The First Modern Remixes: Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley MegaMix) & Yazoo - Situation (François Kervorkian US Mix)
And while we're on the subject ... a quick mention of the Patrick Cowley Mega Mix (nothing to do with the later 80s concept of a medley!) of Donna's I Feel Love. Alongside François Kervorkian's remix of Yazoo's Situation it defined the modern idea of the remix as a radical reworking of a tune primarily for dancefloor rotation.
San Francisco producer Patrick (famed for his work with Sylvester) produced this 15 minute reworking in 1980 for the DJ only subscription service Disconet where it was an underground sensation. The multiple breakdowns, proto-acid house synth and toughened up rhythm track made the original Disconet 12" a must-have for progressive DJs and an instant collectors item. The great man and creator of the track Giorgio Moroder was also said to have loved Cowley's new treatment.
In 1982, Donna's label Casablanca gave this ground-breaking remix a richly-deserved full release making IFL a hit all over again, an edited version making no. 21 in the UK charts.
Sadly Patrick died of AIDS soon after the release of this incredible game-changing mix.
In 1982, another remix was released which was to have a similar effect on electronic dance music: Francois Kervorkian's legendary US Remix of Yazoo's Situation.
Starting off life as the B side to Yazoo's debut hit Only You, Situation, the track was earmarked for remix by music industry icon Seymour Stein head of Mute US licencee label Sire Records. He was aware of NYC-based French DJ François Kervorkian exemplary remix work for New York dance label Prelude and suggested to Mute boss Daniel Miller that FK gave Situation a more club-orientated mix.
The result was the sensational US remix and its accompanying Dub Mix (which appears on Elektro Diskow) which their distinctive breakdowns, synth strings and use of cut up vocal stabs (Alison Moyet's laugh motif along with almost every other part of the track, would end up being some of the biggest samples of all-time). The track would take Yazoo and Mute firmly in to the clubs both in Europe and North America. The mix was a one of the top 50 records at Larry Levan's Paradise Garage New York, the band even playing a rare club gig there while it was also a key record in both Chicago and Detroit. Illuminaries such as Larry Heard and Derrick May (Derrick's Nude Photo includes a sample of the famous laugh) have declared it a huge influence.
For more on the remix and Yazoo's appearance at the Paradise Garage please have a read of our recent (and exclusive!) interview with Daniel Miller.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Very sad to hear the news today that Donna Summer has died following a battle with cancer.
Her first hit, 1975's epic Love To Love You Baby changed the direction of dance music. Its hypnotic 17 minute groove expanded the possibilities of disco.
As previously posted, alongside the genius Giorgio Moroder she made one of the greatest and most influential records of all time, I Feel Love. With Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express, it sparked the electro revolution creating the blueprint for electronic dance for decades to come.
Other classics followed including 1979's Our Love (with its distinctive stuttering drum pattern) which was a key influence on New Order's epochal Blue Monday and State Of Independence, a Balearic classic.
A truly sad loss.