Archive for the ‘remixes’ Category

Remixes from Three Dance Music Queens

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

I’m back! I’m back in Japan and I’m back to updating this blog. Sorry for the extended delay. Traveling across America seeing friends and family you haven’t seen takes a lot of you you it seems. Next time I hope to plan ahead a bit better and have content ready to go so I don’t go for as long with such a break.

I know I promised a big Madonna post tonight, but I feel like mixing it up a bit with some of the choice tracks I scored while I was in the states. Hope you enjoy.

Sheena Easton
Strut
Three Sheena Easton singles have stood the test of time in the popular consciousness. The first is “9 to 5 (Morning Train)” A lovely bubble-gum pop track about a woman who can’t wait to spend time with her man when he gets home from work. The second is this, an aggressive and awesome track that calls out sexist men who demand the same from all their lovers.

The third is “Sugar Walls.” That song is about her vagina.

I feel it’s safe to say that Sheena Easton has a rather diverse back catalog.

I’m not a fan of “Sugar Walls” (obviously, I have a boyfriend after all – OH SNAP) but I, at different times in my life, have been equally obsessed with both “Strut” and “9 to 5” so much that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite between the two. I will say that both are fantastic workout/jogging tunes, and I have to imagine that 1980s Jazzercise classes featured both in their workout mixes. I’d sign up for a spin class if it used mixtapes from 1980s workout classes.

Madonna
Everybody (Dub Version)
For the past few months I’ve been working on a massive project cataloging every single official remix of every single Madonna song. It’s just about done, and I hope to have it up on Mostly Retro in the coming weeks. It was far more complicated than I ever thought it would be. But I think the end result will be something worthwhile and helpful to all my fellow obsessive Madonna collectors out there. Until then, here’s a dub mix of Madonna’s first single – which has never been released on CD.

Sylvester
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (12″ Ultimix)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Radio Version)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Dub Version)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Acappella)
Fuck yeah Sylvester. Sylvester only had two mainstream hits in the states, this and “Dance (Disco Heat).” While the latter of the two was the bigger hit, I think today most people only know him for this song (it probably had more staying power than a song with “disco” in the title). That’s a damn shame, because he has so many amazing songs that I feel are just waiting to be rediscovered.

A decent greatest hits package (named after this hit) was released a few years ago, but I wouldn’t recommend starting with that. Instead, I would pick up All I Need (aka Do Ya Wanna Funk), his 1982 album that includes the legendary “Do Ya Wanna Funk” as well as the equally amazing “Hard Up” and “Don’t Stop.” That album is over 30 years old now and I still can’t think of much that sounds like it, such an amazing combination of Hi-NRG dance beats, new wave electronics and Sylvester’s one-of-a-kind vocals. Just all around awesome stuff. You can’t go wrong with it.

These remixes are from a 12″ single I picked up in Ohio of all places. The 12″ Ultimix is not the same as the 12″ mixes that are on iTunes.

James Brown and Robot Funk

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Oh god I’m in American again how the hell did this happen?

It took nearly a year and a half, but my family finally convinced me to go back home for a visit. I blame the nieces and nephews. Damn cute kids blackmailing me with their cuteness.

My trip is transcontinental, with stops in Oregon, Florida, Ohio and finally Pittsburgh before heading back to the land of the rising son and my lovely adorable boyfriend whom I’ve only been apart from for only 48 hours and already miss dearly.

Sadface.

Anyway, I’m going to make the most of this trip, enjoy the time with my family and hopefully buy some stupid and weird music that I can share here. I also plan on eating all the cheese an drinking all the root beer. So you best not stand downwind from me.

That’s right, I’m bringing out the class. Fart jokes.

Honestly, I’m hella jet lagged right now so don’t expect much insight into tonight’s selections. But it had been a while since my last post and wanted to put something up before even more of you forgot about me.

Friends of Earth
Sex Machine
Sex Machine (Instrumental)
One thing the Japanese are not known for is funk, so I was surprised to find that YMO’s Haruomi Hosono tackled James Brown’s classic “Sex Machine” on the sophomore album of his side project F.O.E. (Friends Of Earth). I was even more surprised to find that this version features new vocals by Brown himself, as well as sax work by his longtime collaborator Ray Maceo Jr.

As much as I love James Brown and Haruomi Hosono, I’m going to have to say that this is not an example of two great tastes that go great together. The raw, funky power of Brown’s original tune really doesn’t translate well into the cold, emotionless robotic sound of Hosono. Still, I’d be lying if hearing the two combined didn’t at least sound interesting.

But yeah, there’s a reason why you don’t hear much about Japanese funk.

The Waitresses
Slide
Another lost gem from Stiff Records’ Akron compilation, and from a band that some people probably have actually heard of!

The Waitresses were a one-hit wonder of the early-MTV era, scoring a minor hit single with “I Know What Boys Like” in 1982. That song is probably most notable for the Patty Donahue’s amazing dry vocals, but she’s nowhere to be found on this track. While the vocalist isn’t credited in the album’s liner notes, I assume the singer is Chris Butler, the guitarist/songwriter of the group. This track is a little more bluesy than other songs by The Waitresses that I’ve heard, but it’s just as strange and vaguely offputting while simultaneously being oddly charming and catchy.

The Waitresses were a really weird band. I recommend everything by them, especially their under-rated second album.

Madonna
4 Minutes (Tracy Young Mixshow)
4 Minutes (Peter Saves New York)
I plan on posting quite a bit while I’m here in the states, but most of the music I have set aside is by Madonna, so I’m going to have to try and space them out a bit. These extended dance mixes were taken from a bonus 12″ that came with the Hard Candy vinyl release. To my knowledge they’ve never been released digitally.

Hardcore for Homos

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Tonight I am going to a New Japan Pro Wrestling event. Should be an education.

Modern Rocketry
Homosexuality (Instrumental Remix)
I guess now that everyone finally knows that I’m gay I can post this track without arousing (hehe I said arousing) suspicion. Although I suppose that the countless Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Patrick Cowley, Erasure, Dead Or Alive and Donna Summer remixes might have blown my cover.

Sadly, this remix isn’t as wonderfully fabulous as the original version or the 12″ remix (both of which are in print and I suggest you buy), but it’s still a classic.

Saint Etienne
Join Our Club (Chemically Friendly Zoom Mix)
How the fuck do you say “Eitenne?”

Sorry, I got nothing on these guys. Nice track though.

Techno Animal vs. Dalek
Megaton
Megaton (Remix)
Classical Homicide
Classical Homicide (Remix)
These are taken from a 12″ single that actually bills two tracks as “Techno Animal vs. Dalek” and two others as “Dalek vs. Techno Animal.”

I don’t know much about either act. A quick glance at Discogs tells me that Dalek was an alt hip-hop pair who operated in the late 90s to 2011, primarily on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings label. I checked out some of their stuff on YouTube and it is hella aggro and dark and I’m loving it. I wish there was more industrial hip-hop.

Techno Animal are also industrial (not techno) and featured Justin Broadrick of the metal group Godflesh. If these mixes are any indication, they sounded like the kind of electronic act that would feature a dude from a heavy metal group. I like it.

This was released on the indie label Matador by the way, which blows my fucking mind.

Remixes From The Far Side (also, Pharcyde)

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

So a lot of people seemed to be interested in what it’s like to be gay in Tokyo, so I wrote about it. Read that if you’re interested.

And I got music here for you! Sorry for the lack of updates this month. Moving into a new apartment this month and things have been crazy busy.

The Pharcyde
Drop (Beatminerz Remix Instrumental)
Runnin’ (Jay Dee Remix)
Passin Me By (Video Instrumental)
Passin’ Me By (Acapella)
Pork (Instrumental)
I have a lot of Pharcyde remixes but it turns out that almost all of them are on their remix and rarities collection that you can buy on Amazon, so I’m not sharing them. Too bad, they’re really good! You should buy that remix collection. In fact, you should buy most Pharcyde albums – The Pharcyde is dope.

Sebadoh
Slinstrumental
A lovely quiet instrumental from a 10″ single I bought a few weeks back.

Big Audio Dynamite II
C’mon Every Beatbox (Extended Vocal Version)
So my boyfriend had never heard reggae before so I played some of the soundtrack to The Harder They Come From and then I remembered that this song sampled that movie and it got stuck in my head even while I was listening to “Many Rivers To Cross” because that’s how my brain works.

I am absolutely positive that I’ve posted this track many times before. But it’s one of my top ten favorite songs of all time so that’s going to happen.

I’m Gay. Here’s Madonna.

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Do you follow me on Twitter? You should follow me on Twitter. If you did, you’d be alerted to hot scoops like walls of Slime in Shinjuku Station and random rants against sexist pigs.

Oh, and you’d also know I’m gay.

Yes, the man who has spent the better part of nine years sharing club remixes of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and Madonna tunes is gay. I know. It’s a real shocker.

Hey, speaking of Madonna and New Order, how about some more Madonna and New Order?

Madonna
Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 vocal club mix)
Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 Future mix) 
Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 Speed mix) 
Nothing Really Matters (Kruder & Dorfmeister remix)
Nothing Really Matters (Vikram remix)
Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 Future dub)
Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 radio mix)
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Calderone & Quayle Dark Side Mix)
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Tracy Young Cool Out Radio Mix)
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Richard Vission Velvet Masta Mix)
Expect a shit ton of more Madonna in the coming weeks. I feel like I always say that, but it’s doubly true now. I recently bought about 20 more Madonna singles. Add that to the 10 I bought that I still haven’t shared and that’s a lot of Madge.

I now own over 80 Madonna LPs, most of which are singles. I can’t wait until I can go back to the states and mail the ones I have here to Japan. Having my Madonna records spread out across two continents just feels wrong.

“Nothing Really Matters (Club 69 Speed Mix)” is new, while the other remixes of that track are reposts. However, my original post was sourced from a hella scratchy vinyl while these come straight from the CD single, so even if you did download them before I’d download them again.

I might have more remixes of “What It Feels Like For A Girl” in the coming weeks. I think I bought another 12″ of it. Maybe.

Look, I bought 20 Madonna singles, did my Japanese taxes and came out to my family last week. Sorry if I can’t remember everything perfectly.

New Order
Waiting For A Sirens’ Call (Filterheadz Remix)
Jetstream (Jacques Lu Cont Dub)
As New Order get its heads out of its ass and release more of their remixes digitally, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find legitimately obscure tracks by the group. Thankfully I go crate digging for records in tiny record shops in out-of-the-way areas in Tokyo.

Both of these remixes were taken from different 12″ singles that the band put out in 2006. To my knowledge none of them have ever been made available digitally or on CD in a commercial form. They’re very good club tracks, some of the better dance-focused New Order remixes from that decade I think.

This remix series also had a third 12″ featuring “I Told You So (Stuart Price’s Remix)” but that was later put on the Lost Sirens album so I’m not including it here.

Beck Sucks I Love Beck

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Sorry for totally breaking my one post a week rule. Life has gotten very interesting as of late.

Interesting in a good way! But interesting in a way that has made it difficult to dedicate time to writing. Still and yet, I did manage to get one more installment of my Scrunged series up, this time looking at Bush. Take a look if you’d like to read my thoughts on one of the most forgettable multi-platinum rock bands of all-time.

Beck
Jack-Ass (Butch Vig Mix)
Devil’s Haircut (Remix By Mickey P.)
Okay, I need to rant about Beck winning album of the year at the Grammys. I know I’m late but I need to Kanye this shit.

That Beck album is garbage. Hot garbage. It’s sad bastard bullshit music for sad bastards. I’m sorry. I tried to listen to the entire thing but I just couldn’t. It’s boring, musically, lyrically, thematically, just about in every damn way imaginable. It has to be Beck’s worst album since Sea Change, another overrated piece of trash that critics have needlessly gone gaga over ever since its first release.

Beck’s best album is Midnite Vultures. I mean it.

What the hell is so special about Sea Change and Morning Phase? Both records could just be renamed Sad Man Sits In Front Of A Microphone And Whines.

Whoop.

De.

Shit.

Midnite Vultures, on the other hand, is a work of a wondrous genius. It’s Beck taking Prince and doing Prince better than 90% of Prince’s output for the past 20+ years. Taking funk and injecting it with an utterly leftfield production style and some of the strangest lyrics ever committed to tape. “Sexx Laws,” amazing. “Nicotine & Gravy,” funkified masterwork.” “Peaches & Cream,” down and dirty funk of the funkiest funkitude. And don’t even get me started on “Debra,” easily one of the greatest slow jams in history.

Midnite Vultures remains an entirely unique record not only in Beck’s discography, but in popular music. It’s a damn tragedy that it’s fallen to the wayside. First to Sea Change and now to Morning Phase.

Fuck sad beck. Funky beck for life.

Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit (AV8 Remix 1)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (AV8 Remix 2)
Bootleg hip-house mixes from 2009. The first is rather standard, and just injects some added beats and an inane MC. The second is far more…well, I was going to say “interesting,” but maybe I should just be honest and go with “stupid.” It’s not even a remix as it is an entirely original rap track with the backing track of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” haphazardly plastered over it.

I mean, I love it, but I think Morning Phase is bullshit and Midnite Vultures is one of the best albums of the 20th century, so I’m obviously not one who should be trusted in the slightest.

Obscure Remixes By Oscar Winners

Friday, February 13th, 2015

High-caliber talent tonight.

12 Rounds
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Trent Reznor, Keith Hillebrandt and Clint Mansell)
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Charlie Clouser)
Pleasant Smell (Sniper’s Rit n Run Vocal Mix)
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Clint Mansell And Keith Hillebrandt)
Pleasant Smell (Sniper’s Regular Specials Dub)
12 Rounds is a lesser-known industrial rock act from the mid-90s. They released two albums, Jitter Juice in 1996, and My Big Hero in 1998. That second album was on Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records and in fact the group went into the studio to record a third album, which was to be produced by Reznor, but it was never released.

I should probably point out at this time that 12 Rounds is singer Claudia Sarne and Atticus Ross, the latter of whom you may recognize as a frequent Trent Reznor collaborator. He produced/programmed every Nine Inch Nails album since With Teeth; was a member of Reznor’s side-project How To Destroy Angels; and served as co-composer with Reznor for the Academy Award winning score to The Social Network, as well as the scores to Gone Girl and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Pretty big step up from “dude in a band that opened for Sneaker Pimps.”

It’s funny that two of these remixes feature Clint Mansell, who also was a member of a lesser-known rock/industrial act (Pop Will Eat Itself) before abandoning the pop world and becoming an incredibly successful composer who has worked on films such as Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan, Moon and, um Doom. I sincerely believe it’s just a matter of time before he wins an Oscar as well, which will definitely make that remix the only alt-rock/industrial track featuring the work of three Academy Award winners.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Heartbeat (Dance Mix)
Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II) – Returning To The Womb
Heartbeat (Ambiant Mix)
I’ll be honest, I’m just including these remixes tonight so I can say that this post has not one, not two, but three Academy Award winning composers (Sakamoto won for The Last Emperor). Also, that last track name isn’t a typo, it’s “ambiant.” I don’t know why.

 

Remixes I Forgot I Bought

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Time to clean house with shit I’ve had in my backlog for over a year.

DJ Rap
Good To Be Alive (Johnny Vicious Short Epic Mix)
Good To Be Alive (Johnny Vicious Dub)
Good To Be Alive (Dronez Vocal Mix)
Good To Be Alive (Dronez Dub)
I will be entirely honest and say that I know very little about DJ Rap. I know she’s immensely talented, and that most of her popular work (house/dance music) has little in common with most of her actual work (drum and bass/jungle). I also know that this song was in the film Go, a movie that I have to re-watch someday to see if it has become a wonderful time capsule of the late-90s or a horribly dated Pulp Fiction rip-off. I suspect it is some combination.

Anyway. Yeah, even at the time that I bought this I neither knew much nor cared about DJ Rap. In fact, I don’t even know when I bought this record. I know I recorded it to my computer near the tail-end of 2013, but that just means I recorded it during my marathon recording session in which I digitized every single record in my collection that I hadn’t yet. As the clock was ticking before I packed them all up in storage before my big move to Japan. I suspect I probably had this record in my “to record” pile for over year before I actually recorded it.

Thinking about it now, this record very much serves as an example as how I used to buy records, and serves as a contrast to how I buy music now.

When I was living in Pittsburgh, in a rather large house, I was buying records like no tomorrow. I lived right by Jerry’s Records, the largest vinyl-only record shop in the world, and had vast amounts of disposable income and time (for reasons that I am not getting into).

Turns out that time + money + space = far too many needless purchases. Some of this worked out for the best. I would have never discovered Slow Bongo Floyd, Fay Ray, The Hitmen or countless other forgotten acts if it wasn’t for my nearly indiscriminate record buying habits.

But at the same time, it kind of turned listening to music into a chore. When you buy anywhere between 10 and 30 12″ singles and LPs a week, it doesn’t allow for much time to really absorb music. My turntable became a revolving door, and making the time to actually set aside music to review became increasingly difficult.

Now, with limited space and time, my record buying habits have drastically changed. With rare exception, I find myself buying no more than three or so LPs a day, and they’re usually albums. And my reasons for buying music has changed as well. Before I was often grabbing music solely because I thought it was out-of-print or hard-to-find, making it prime fodder for this blog. That was regardless of whether I thought I would like it or not (this explains why I at one point owned 12 Leather Nun records). Now I actually buy music because I think I’ll like it. I know, a crazy concept. Although I still do buy a hefty amount of records and CDs simply because I think they’re stupid, weird or idiotic, how else would I have bought that Hulk Hogan LP?

But yeah, I did buy this single, and I recorded it. So I guess I should finally share it. So to the one person out there who wants it, enjoy!

The Shamen
Make It Mine (Hilltop Mix)
Move Any Mountain (Progen 91) (Land Of Oz)
Move Any Mountain (Progen 91) (Rude)
Move Any Mountain (Progen 91) (Bang To The Beat)
Move Any Mountain (Progen 91) (Beltram Dub)
Move Any Mountain (Progen 91) (The Bones Break Mastermix)
The Sound Of Pro-Gen (Horns, Guitars, Keyboards, Chorus, Bang, No. 1)
Everything I just said about the DJ Rap single does double here.

 

Game Music Disco

Friday, January 30th, 2015

I think my new thing will be to post tracks from artists who have as little in common as possible from now on. So tonight, here’s some 80s disco by a soul diva and a remix to a video game theme song.

Sara Dash
Low Down Dirty Rhythm
Low Down Dirty Rhythm (Radio Version)
Low Down Dirty Rhythm (Instrumental Version)
Been a while since I posted some Patrick Cowley produced disco, so I thought I’d dig this one up out of the vaults. And by “the vaults” I mean my massive iTunes playlist of songs I’ve been meaning to share here for the past few years. I really have to work on thinning that thing out. I’ve had some Shamen and DJ Rap remixes in there for over two years. Does anyone want Shamen and DJ Rap remixes?

Anyways, Sara Dash. She was in LaBelle, although her solo stuff never reached the heights of “Lady Marmalade.” She has a hell of a voice, and this is a damn great dance tune.

Konami
Contra (魂斗羅) Super Sweep Remix
I’ve been buying a lot of game music in Japan. Too damn much to be exact. So in an effort to justify my insane habit I’ve started reviewing old game soundtracks over at my other blog Mostly-Retro. So far I’ve put up two; one on the very first game music release Video Game Music, and another on an obscure Konami Compilation. I like writing them and I plan to keep at it for some time. So if that’s something that interests you be sure to check them out.

This bizarre remix of the music from Contra isn’t really from a game music release proper. I found it on a mini-CD that came with a PS2 repackaged version of Contra, which also came with a DVD that I have yet to play. I guess the package, which is titled Oretachi Game Center Zoku: Contra, is pretty damn rare, so I’m pretty stoked about finding it for 10 bucks.

 

Prince San

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I bought another Hulk Hogan album. At least, he’s on the picture disc. Stay tuned for the horrors I might find within.

Prince
Mountains (Extended Version)
Alexa De Paris
Whenever I buy a Prince single I end up being entirely blown away by the everything of everything on it. I really need to buy more Prince albums.

This remix of “Mountains” is ten freaking minutes long. That’s 10 minutes of Prince at peak funk. Be careful while listening to it, that much Prince peak funk has been known to cause injuries.

“Alexa De Paris” is a guitar solo by Prince. If you need more information that to download it then I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you.

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Robin Scott
The Left Bank
The Arrangement
Just About Enough
Once In A Lifetime
I’ve talked at length about Sakamoto on this blog before, so I’m not going to say anymore about him. But I assume most of you don’t know who Robin Scott is. At least, you probably don’t know him by his actual name.

Robin Scott is the dude behind the group M, meaning he is the person who brought us “Pop Music.” And now that song is stuck in your head and I apologize.

I don’t know how this collaborative effort with Sakamoto came to be, but I do know that it birthed a complete album, and not just the 12″ single from which I grabbed these tracks. I’ll have to find that sometime, as these songs are quite good. They kind of sound like mid-era Japan, which is not surprising at all, as Scott is doing his damnedest David Sylvian/David Bowie impression on these tracks.