Archive for the ‘remixes’ Category

Sighing to Prog Rock and Writing About Blondie

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

I have nothing to say in regards to recent events that I feel like sharing with anyone aside from this: when faced with crippling dread and/or anxiety related to world suffering I find that prog rock helps.

I recommend Yes’s third album. It’s a good one.

I wish I had prog rock to share with you tonight, but instead some post-new wave disco remixes and Japanese covers of German techno will have to do.

Good Boys (Giorgio Moroder Extended Short)
Good Boys (Giorgio Moroder Single Mix)
Good Boys (Scissor Sisters’ Gyad Byas Myax Mix Extended)
Good Boys (Scissor Sisters’ Gyad Byas Myax Ya Mix)
Good Boys (A1 People Full Version)
These are remixes of a track from Curse Of Blondie, the Blondie album nobody bought. I include myself in that royal nobody, so I can’t comment on the quality of said record. “Good Boys” is a pretty dope track, and the Moroder remixes really channel the frantic and dark energy of their classic “Call Me.” It’s no “Call Me,” obviously, and the weird Queen-esque rap is a bit out of place, but it’s still pretty good.

I don’t know what the fuck “extended short” means in terms of remixes though. That’s not a thing, Blondie, don’t say that!

Yellow Magic Orchestra
If you’ve been reading my massive all-encompassing review of YMO’s work, you’d know that this song opens their most recent live album, No Nukes 2012. It’s a good live album, but the only thing that makes it stand out at all is this somber and haunting cover of the classic Kraftwerk tune, which I feel that YMO have made their own with this fantastic take on it. I hope one day that I get to hear YMO perform live in person. Takahashi has a new studio album coming out this year so hopefully I’ll at least get to see him sometime soon.

Neil Young’s Dance Remixes

Friday, October 30th, 2015

I hope I’m not the only person who finds tonight’s music interesting.

Neil Young
Sample And Hold (Dance Remix)
Sample And Hold (Single Version)
Sample And Hold (LP Version)
Mr. Soul (Dance Remix)
You have no idea how happy I was to find this single.

Quick backstory (which I’ve covered multiple times here). In 1982 Neil Young released Trans. It was a radical departure for him, abandoning the rock style he was known and acclaimed for and replacing it with a strongly electronic/synthpop sound. Not only that, many of the songs found Young experimenting with a vocoder, which distorted his voice to near unrecognizable levels at times (as someone who has never been a fan of Young’s voice, I don’t consider this to be a bad thing).

It’s a brave, crazy and entirely original record (with a few amazing “traditional sounding” Young tracks too), but it was a massive bomb both critically and commercially. It also wound up being the first in a series of intentionally obtuse and experimental albums that led to Young being sued by his label at the time for releasing music that was too uncommerical.

The album was out of print forever. I even shared the entire thing here twice. But now it’s back in print digitally and I highly recommend buying it. The version on digital storefronts is the CD version, which is remixed and significantly altered when compared to the original LP mix.

I don’t know which came first, the CD mix or these single mixes for “Sample And Hold” and “Mr. Soul,” but it’s obvious that one influenced the other. All the changes that are present on these mixes are also present on the CD version. The guitars are muted, the cymbals are removed, and the beat is punched up to the front of the mix. Both just feel substantially more “electronic” in about every way you can imagine. The CD version of “Sample And Hold” is still the best though, largely because it’s a ridiculous eight minutes long.

Seriously, buy Trans. That album is nuts.


Another Post With Synthpop From Two Different Continents

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Been busy! Mostly the good busy! And I wrote a lot of shit on my other site. I finished my guide to YMO’s albums, which took me far too long so I hope you all read it, share it and enjoy it. Then I did a write-up on the Mario Anniversary Celebration that I went to. I still haven’t seen much English language coverage of that, so if you know anyone who would be interested in reading such an article please pass it along to them. Same goes for my review of the Mario Anniversary music CD.

Basically, I’m asking you all to read my shit and pass my shit along to others who might enjoy it and do the same. Because sometimes validation via readership feels nice.

Lots of music tonight! Shit, lots of words tonight!

Masquerade (Extended Version)
Like Flames (Extended Version)
Dancing In Berlin (Dance Remix)
You Don’t Know (Extended Remix)
The Metro (Remix)
No More Words (Dance Remix)
These are all of the Dancing In Berlin remix EP, which only came out in Japan. And if you think that the only reason that I moved to Japan was so that I’d have a chance of finding rare out-of-print CDs like this in budget racks for less than five bucks you’d be…not entirely off mark.

Seriously though, I was pretty excited to come across this one today. I already had most of these tracks as vinyl rips, but most of them were still kind of scratchy despite my best efforts to clean them up. And these remixes of “Masquerade” and “Like Flames” are entirely new to me.

If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably in agreement with me that Berlin is totally one of the best bands of the 80s. If you’re not, well then, why the hell are you reading this blog? All their albums are good, even Information, which doesn’t feature Terri Nunn. I’m partial to the last “classic” album Count Three & Pray though, thanks largely to the inclusion of “Pink And Velvet” which is an achingly beautiful tragic ballad about junkies that just happens to feature one of the best guitar solos that David Gilmour (yes, that David Gilmour) ever put on wax.

That album also features Ted Nugent. So if you want to stump your friends on trivia night with “What album features David Gilmour and Ted Nugent?” then you’re welcome.

By the by, I didn’t include the extended version of “Sex (I’m A…)” because you can get that on the CD and digital editions of Pleasure Victim.

Akiko Yano
Tong Poo
Tong Poo (Welcome To Jupiter Version)
Tong Poo (Naked Jupiter Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Original Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Tobashite Yukuyo Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Live Version with Ryuicihi Sakamoto)
Akiko Yano is a pianist singer-songwriter who came to prominence in Japan during the 80s due to her relationship with YMO (which was more than professional, she was married to Ryuichi Sakamoto for a bit). I put some of her stuff on here ages ago, including the first version of “Tong Poo” that I’m including here again tonight.

The other two version of “Tong Poo” (which I keep typing as “Tony Poo” for some reason) are new. I mean that literally, they’re on her new album, Welcome To Jupiter, which just came out this week. I know I usually don’t post music you can get legally but I do realize that the overwhelming majority of you all reading this don’t live in Japan, so your options for picking this up by legal means are relatively limited. Because record companies don’t understand how digital distribution works.

The Welcome To Jupiter version is an interesting take that combines acoustic instruments with some oddball electronic sound effects. I don’t know if I like everything it does (but waterdrop sound effect is a bit much) but I do appreciate its eccentricity. The “Naked Jupiter” version is an instrumental that’s included as a bonus version of the deluxe edition of the album.

“Zai Kung Tong Boy” is a great song with a really interesting lineage. It was written by Sakamoto and included on Yano’s album Dinner Is Waiting, which was co-produced by Sakamoto as well and features contributions with the rest of YMO. The song was also frequently performed live during YMO concerts, with Yano still on vocals as she was one of their touring keyboardists at the time. It was apparently also performed often at Sakamoto solo shows. The second version is taken from one such show, included as a bonus track on a Sakmoto box set I purchased last year. This version is over seven minutes long and features some SICK shredding.

The final version was taken from Yano’s 2014 album  Tobashite Yukuyo, which featured Yano working with several prominent Japanese producers (a trend she repeats on Welcome To Jupiter). In this case, the producer is Yoshinori Sunahara, formerly of Denki Groove, who has also done remix work for Cornelius and Yukihiro Takahashi of YMO. That same album also features a collaboration with Boom Boom Satellites, and I’ll try to share that sometime soon.


Let’s All Go Back To LiveJournal and Listen to Madonna Together

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Okay so I need to rant about something and I really can’t do it on my other site because less understanding family go there and I can’t do it on Twitter because it would be about a thousand tweets. So congrats, you all win.

Like, what the fuck is wrong with Facebook?

What is it about Facebook that brings out the absolutely shittiest forms of expression in people? Facebook should be awesome, especially for someone like me, an expat who has friends on multiple continents. But it’s not. It’s a wasteland of horrifically unfunny plagiarized memes, anti-science babbling and racist bullshit.

Why? Why do people feel the need to contribute to that festering stew? Who clicks “like” on something that says “click like if you remember [NOSTALGIA]?” Why do that?

Ugh. It’s disgusting. And seeing a sizable minority of my friends recently speak out against #blacklivesmatter as something that’s allegedly racist just makes my head want detach itself from my neck and crawl itself up my ass just because it might find less shit there.

If your natural response to seeing someone post something related to #blacklivesmatter is to say “hey all lives matter” then shut up. Just shut up. Google “All lives matter” and see the racist mountain you’re willing to die on. Shut up. It’s not about you. Shut up and listen. I’m willing to bet you don’t do that a lot.

I’ve given up all hope that we’ll ever live in a “post-racial” society but I’m counting down the days and praying that we someday live in a “post Facebook” one.

There should be a social network dedicated to only sharing original content. Of course, if there was no one would bother to use it, because writing original content is hard and scary and omg look at this Minions meme.

Here are some Latin interpretations of Japanese techno songs performed by a German DJ. And Madonna because I’m gay.

Señor Coconut and His Orchestra
Limbo (instrumental version)
Behind The Mask (Original Hamster’s Yellow Miami Magic Sound Orchestra Machine Remix)
The Madmen (instrumental version)
Ongaku (instrumental version)
Simoon (instrumental version)
I could have sworn that I posted some Señor Coconut before. Huh. Strange. Maybe it was attached to one of the very few posts I’ve had flagged for DMCA violations before (upside to maintaining a woefully unpopular blog on my own server is that I don’t get a lot of those).

Anways, Señor Coconut is the alter ego of one Uwe Schmidt, a German DJ based in Chile. As Mr. Coconut, Schmidt takes classic songs and reimagines them as bossa nova dance jams. It’s a solid concept.

In 2005 he dedicated an entire album to bossa nova covers of Yellow Magic Orchestra songs and called it Yellow Fever. I found a vinyl copy of it last year and fell in love with it. But I was extra elated to pick up a used copy of the Japanese CD edition last week, as it contains a shitload of bonus tracks, all of which I’m including here.

Strangely, on the CD itself the remix of “Behind The Mask” is included as a “secret track” attached to the instrumental of “Ongaku.” As to make things a little less confusing, I went ahead and separated them into two separate tunes.

Give It 2 Me (Eddie Amador Club)
Give It 2 Me (Fedde Le Grand Remix)
Give It 2 Me (Eddie Amador House Lovers Remix)
Give It 2 Me (Oakenfold Extended Remix)
Give It 2 Me (Tong & Spoon Wonderland Mix)
Give It 2 Me (Jody den Broeder Club)
Give It 2 Me (Sly and Robbie Ragga Mix)
Another product of the great Madonna singles buying marathon of April. While “Give It 2 Me” is not a bad song, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it didn’t deserve this multitude of remixes.


Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

I went to Summer Sonic this past weekend. It was pretty rad and I plan on writing about it sometime this week or the next. I won’t have much to say about the actual festival, but the entire experience did make me think about the state of rock music, what makes me identify with music, and the growing trend of pastiche as a genre.

I think it’s going to be rather wordy. So I apologize in advance for that.

Now music.

She Wants To Move (D.F.A. Remix)
She Wants To Move (Mac & Toolz Extended Remix)
“Her ass is a spaceship I want to ride.”


Fuck the “Happy” song, that line right there is the most life-affirming shit Pharrell ever wrote by far.

I love this song, much like I love nearly everything off of the first two N.E.R.D. albums. It’s such a great song that it can even overcome the lackluster DFA remix, that tries way too hard to make it into a krautrock song. You can’t do that to a song that has the line “her ass is a spaceship I want to ride” goddammit. The Mac & Toolz remix works far better, and instead re-imagines the song as an 80s funk jam with plenty of totally radical synths.

Big Country
Wonderland (Extended Mix)
Heart And Soul
Lost Patrol (Live)
I posted a bunch of Big Country a while back and have been repeatedly (but politely) requested by one incredibly persistent Big Country fan to repost them. Here are a few of them. I’ll try and put the rest up in the next few posts. Spoiler: “Wonderland” is one of the greatest songs ever written and you should like it.

Celebration (Benny Benassi Remix)
Celebration (Benny Benassi Dub)
Celebration (Oakenfold Remix)
Celebration (Oakenfold Remix Dub)
Celebration (Johnny Vicious Club Remix)
Continuing in what will most likely be a multi-month/year posting spree of Madonna remixes. These are all from a 2×12″ single I picked up earlier this summer.

In additional Madonna news, I’m still working on part two of my guide to Madonna singles. It’s proving to be daunting. She put out a lot of freaking singles in the 90s you guys.

No One Will Care About It In Five Years

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I recently ranted a bit about Nicki Minaj. You might also know that such ranting put me under the ire of several feminists who think that white men have no right to critique pop music sung by a woman. (They may claim otherwise, but that’s what they’re doing). Go there for more information. I feel that a few of the people who attacked me might have some good points, if they didn’t decide to dogpile and insult me non-stop. If you do read their comments, don’t reply though. I’m not in the business of sending hate mobs. I just thought the entire disaster was worth mentioning.

I was going to write about this tonight. But I can’t find the words to express myself in a way that doesn’t come off as horribly defensive or dismissive. (It’s almost like race and media are complex issues and that a person’s value or worth as a feminist can’t be defined by a singular viewpoint regarding a single artist!) So here’s a depressing song instead.

Rabbit In Your Headlights (Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Underdog Mix)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Underdog Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (3D Mix Reverse Light)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (3D Mix Reverse Light Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Suburban Hell Mix)
I love this song, but damn it makes “No Surprises” by Radiohead sound like a party jam in comparison. These remixes don’t do much to alleviate that, and are all just dark and oppressively sad in their own ways. Still a solid tune though.

Village People
I Love You To Death
Okay fine, let’s go out tonight on a high note. Have you ever seen Can’t Stop The Music? You should see Can’t Stop The Music. It’s a musical starring the Village People, Steve Guttenberg and Caitlin (at the time Bruce) Jenner. It might be the greatest movie ever made. It is certainly one of the gayest movies ever made. And trust me, I’ve seen some gay-ass movies. Notice that I said gay-ass movies and not gay ass-movies.

That’s a whole other genre.

Anyways, the soundtrack to Can’t Stop The Music is unfortunately out of print. There’s a lot of amazing stuff on that LP if you’re a fan of horrible cheese, and I thought I’d pick two of the best tonight.

“Milkshake” is a song…about milk. In the movie the Village People are hired to sing a song for a milk commercial and this is what happens. And it’s not an innuendo either, it’s literally a song about how great milkshakes are. The end. It’s amazing.


Unfortunately I can’t find the video on YouTube, but it’s nothing more than the construction worker flaming it up around a construction site for three minutes while women in red evening dresses alternately fawn over and ignore him. It’s pretty much worth buying the movie for. That and the surprising full frontal male nudity during the “YMCA” dance number.

I’m not kidding.

If you want more information on this classic, I wrote a review on my other site. Also on that site is a review of the recent Demons soundtrack re-issue that isn’t that bad.

Ah, Village People. I feel better now.

Andrew Lloyd Weber and Madonna, but not that one.

Monday, July 20th, 2015

I hope I make up for the delay in posting with this post, which features stupid remixes of game music, Korn and Madonna. I try to cover all my bases.

While I haven’t been updating much here this month, I have been slightly more prolific than usual over at my other site, Mostly-Retro, where you can find a write-up on the vinyl release of the radical Babymetal albumand a look at the soundtrack to Darius.

Speaking of game music…

Doctor Spin
Play Game Boy
I’ve been doing this thing over at Mostly-Retro called Game Music Revue, where I review old game soundtracks. Like most things I write about, it’s not really for mass consumption, but if you’re into old game music, I suggest you check it out. As of right now, I’m trying to stick to mostly albums over there, so something like this really doesn’t fit, but this is so stupid I just had to write about it somewhere.

This is an acid house/eurodance remix of the Tetris theme music, which is in and of itself a cover of a traditional Russian piece entitled “Korobeiniki.” This version was released as a single in the United Kingdom in 1992 and somehow managed to crack the Top 20 there.

But wait, it gets stupider. Doctor Spin, as it turns out, is actually one Andrew Lloyd Weber. That’s right, the man behind The Phantom Of The Opera, Cats, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar decided, well after more than establishing himself as one of the most successful musical theater composers of all-time, decided to give a go on the pop charts by recording a techno remix of a video game theme song.

The early 90s were a damn pop music wasteland I swear to god.

The B-side, by the way, is typical and forgettable 90s house music with a chorus of “Play The Game Boy” looped over it. I must imagine that Nintendo paid money for this to happen.

Make Me Bad (Kornography Mix)
Make Me Bad (Sickness In Salvation Mix)
Make Me Bad (Sybil Mix)
I originally posted these Korn remixes EIGHT FREAKING YEARS AGO HOLY SHIT THIS BLOG IS OLD.

Sorry, the realization of time marching on makes me type in all caps sometimes. Anyways, yeah, I posted these a long time ago, but since then I bought this single again on much better condition vinyl and re-recorded it. So as a somewhat unapologetic on-and-off-again Korn fan (their dubstep album was shockingly good and far better than it had any right to be) I thought I’d share these again.

La Isla Bonita (Instrumental)
Live To Tell (Edit)
Live To Tell (Instrumental)
Borderline (Dub Remix)
I really have to up my Madonna game. I’m currently sitting on a good two to three dozen Madonna remixes that I haven’t gotten around to sharing yet. Maybe more, I don’t even know. It’s funny that right after I decided to come out of the closet that I kept finding Madonna singles on clearance. It’s almost like the universe was rewarding me for being true to myself. A reward from the gay gods, if you will.

Transcontinental Covers

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

I’ve been slightly more prolific than usual this week. I continued my Scrunged series with a look at Candlebox, and I also wrote up a quick little thing on UFO catchters in Japan and the various Mario related goods I’ve snagged in them. Check them out if you’re interested.

You know that next year marks the 10th anniversary of this stupid little blog? I wonder if I should plan something.

YMO vs. The Human League
Behind The Mask
Kimi Ni Mune Kyun
Kimi Ni Mune Kyun (Extended Version)
Firecracker~Tong Poo /東風 (Bonus Track)
A while ago I wrote a little thing about the song “Behind The Mask,” mainly tracking how it started as a jingle for a watch commercial only to find its way to Eric Clapton by the way of Michael Jackson’s keyboardist. It’s a weird story, and if you like tracing some of the more unlikely links in pop music history, I suggest you check that article out.

I cited quite a few different versions of the song when I was writing that piece, but somehow this amazing version made it past my radar. Don’t know how the fuck that happened, as this is definitely one of the better takes on the Michael Jackson version of the song. It certainly more faithful to the original from a musical standpoint than just about any other Westerner’s take on the tune – thanks to the fact that it’s actually being covered by a synth-pop act and not a white blues guitarist. Phil Oakey’s vocals oddly match up to the original’s too.

The other two songs are also YMO covers, with their version of “Kimi Ni Mune Kyun” shockingly similar to the original. Their cover of “Tong Poo” takes some pretty interesting liberties, but it still keeps the basic melody that makes the song work so well. All of these tracks were taken from the YMO vs. The Human League EP that was never released outside of Japan.

I wonder if YMO were an influence on The Human League. Of course, The Human League pre-date YMO by a couple years, but they radically changed line-ups and sound in 1981 with Dare, and part of me imagines that perhaps some of that change was inspired by YMO. While YMO were not the first electronic act in the world, the argument can be made that they were the first one that tried to move electronic pop music past something that was cold and distant and into something that was more fun and upbeat – something that The Human League were trying to do in the early 80s as well.


Songs about Robots and Butts

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Tomorrow is me and my boyfriend’s six month anniversary.

You guys he’s so cute.

Eddie Murphy
Boogie In Your Butt (Remixed Extended Version)
Boogie In Your Butt (Instrumental)
Okay for starters let’s just get this out of the way: this is Eddie Murphy’s best song. “Party All The Time” sucks, and the less we talk about “Whatzupwitu” the better. If you’ve never heard “Boogie In Your Butt,” let me educate you. This song is nothing but a rap listing off things/places/people that should be…put in your butt, with Eddie Murphy occasionally commenting on the ludicrous and/or offensive nature of it all until he discovers the financial gains for doing so(???) at which point he eagerly jumps on the butt bandwagon, the buttwagon if you will.

It’s poetry.

Now, often when I share stuff I really like I say something like, “please support this artist and buy music of their’s that you can find commercially.” However, I’m not going to do that here. You like “Boogie In Your Butt?” Then do yourself a favor and don’t buy the self-titled debut from which it comes, unless you want to hear the opening stand-up bit “Faggots,” where Eddie goes off on how much he hates gay people for over two minutes. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds, and better than the homophobic shit on Raw, but it’s still hella bad.

Yeah, he apologized for it (weakly) but that don’t mean I gotta give him money for it in 2015.

Was (Not Was)
Robot Girl (LA Mix)
Robot Girl (£SD Mix)
I was trying to figure out how the hell I pair anything to “Boogie In Your Butt” but then I remembered that I had these Was (Not Was) songs and everything just fell into place. Was (Not Was), being a band that has performed everything, fit naturally with everything.

And Now It’s Time For a Breakdown

Friday, June 19th, 2015

I watch a lot of Todd In The Shadows (in fact I’m a backer of his show on Patreon and you should be too). Recently he did a “worst of” list where he tackled the clusterfuck of a year that was 1991. It’s a great video, and I suggest you check it out.

In the video, while decimating several lesser songs and genres of the era, he does briefly mention new jack swing, the hip-hop/R&B hybrid genre that was all the shit in the early 90s. He’s not the first person I’ve seen praise new jack swing as of late, and I highly suspect that it’s due for a comeback any day now. As such, you should check out these hot early-90s jams now and get ahead on the nostalgia.

Bel Biv DeVoe
Poison (Mental Mix)
Poison (Smoothed Mix)
I think few songs leave me as conflicted as this one. It’s undoubtedly one of the best tunes of the new jack era, with its sick production and amazing hook, but it’s also one of the most disgustingly sexist.

Of course, the idea of a femme fatale you should avoid isn’t entirely sexist on its own. There are plenty of toxic women out there and just as many toxic men. No, the song is sexist in explaining exactly why this woman is supposedly toxic, specifically with the line, “But I know she’s a loser (how do you know?)/Me and the crew used to do her.”

Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew. Ew. Gross. The term “slut-shaming” is thrown a lot (probably too much) these days, but never have I heard such a more concrete example. “This woman is a bad person because she has sex with a lot of men” is literally the message of this song. That’s just…icky.

But on the other hand “Never trust a big butt and a smile” is sage advice, so I’m torn.

En Vogue
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (Theo’s Cheaptrick Remix)
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (Hyperadio)
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (The Morning After Dub)
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (Extended Mix)
I desperately want to hear an extended remix of En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind,” which is entirely unfortunate, as no extended remix of that legendary song exists – how such a horrendous fuck up could possibly occur blows my mind.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, most of the singles from Funky Divas are great, but “Free Your Mind” is one of the greatest singles of the 1990s, hands down, no question. It’s a song that could have only been released in the early 90s as well, with its strong social message and cross-genre sound that wonderfully combines new jack swing with heavy metal, of all things. No producer currently making music has the gumption to try something that these days. Pop music sure does suck at the moment, largely because producers and performers are too afraid to take chances like this. Shame too, as there seems to be an overabundance of amazing singers in pop right now.

This song is good too.