Archive for the ‘remixes’ Category

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 1)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

When I embarked on my re-recording marathon before I left the country, the goal was twofold. One was to have high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks. That mission was accomplished. The second was that, in having high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks, I would have something to write about and post during my first few months in Tokyo, before I got my turntable and computer set up.

Well, some mental health/physical health/overall busyness of moving to an entirely different country and starting a new job sure put a cramp in that plan. Here it is, four months into my transcontinential move, and I’m only averaging about two posts a month! That’s some bullshit right there.

This changes now! And I mean it this time! I have all these songs that I re-recorded, all these rare and amazing cuts that sound better then ever, so I’m going to get off my ass and start posting them!

Up first, three days of Pet Shop Boys! Now, these posts won’t cover all the Pet Shop Boys I ever posted, I wasn’t able to re-record them all. But it’s still a hefty chunk, I hope you all enjoy.

And in case you’re wondering, up next will be Madonna, followed by Depeche Mode. After that, I plan on a smorgasbord of everything I wanted to repost over the past few months that I didn’t get a chance to. Then finally…new music! As my computer is en route and I should have everything hooked up and ready to go by the end of the month!

Woot!

Pet Shop Boys
Always On My Mind (12″ Version Phil Harding Mix)
Always On my Mind (Julian Mendelsohn 12″ Dance Version)
Domino Dancing (Alternative Mix)
Domino Dancing (Base Mix)
Domino Dancing (Demo)
Domino Dancing (Disco Mix)
Don Juan (Demo)
Don Juan (Disco Mix)
Heart (Disco Mix)
Heart (Dance Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Extended Mix)
A through H tonight. Highlights include an amazing remix (and a shockingly good demo version) of “Don Juan” and 16 minutes of “Always On My Mind” spread across two fabulous takes on the track. Of course, the rest is all good too, ‘Domino Dancing” is a hella dope tune after all.

Life is too short to be with someone who doesn’t like Gremlins.

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

See headline.

Cyndi Lauper
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough (Dance Re-Mix)
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough (Dub Version)
If you’re reading this blog today, it’s probably because of this song. When I first started this blog eons ago I was just one in a long line of countless MP3 blogs, fighting for attention and not getting any. Turned out the world wasn’t ready for subpar vinyl rips of orchestral renditions of obscure David Bowie tracks.

But that began to change in 2007 when I posted this track, as a fan of it was apparently a contributor to the once-relevant now wh0-the-fuck-cares Best Week Ever blog at VH1. They posted a short thing about it (long since deleted) and my hits more than quadrupled. It was pretty rad. That got the ball rolling on this site, making it…one of many in a sea of Mp3 blogs fighting for attention.

Eh.

Eddy Grant
Electric Avenue (12” Version)
Oy!

This is  straight-up repost and not a re-recording. I couldn’t get to it in time before I moved. Sorry! It was either this or a Breakin’ soundtrack, okay? And we all know I made the right choice. But someone requested this, so here you go.

Human League
Don’t You Want Me (Snap 12″ Extended Remix)
Don’t You Want Me (Red Jerry 12″ Remix)
These were requests as well. I think these are re-recordings. To be honest I really can’t tell. My ability to judge audio quality is still a bit compromised. I’m still working with my laptop and its crappy laptop speakers, so I just can’t pick up any decent fidelity at the moment. However, these mixes were pretty recent additions to my collection, so I’m sure they sound acceptable regardless.

 

And yes, it’s that Snap.

 

Japan In Vogue

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

I have a ton of Japanese music that I want to blog about, but I think I’d mix things up a bit with some Madonna. Besides, I went through the hassle of re-recording almost all of my Madonna singles before I left the states, so it would be silly not to share at least some of them now.

Before I do that though, I want to remind all of you, once again, of my other site, Mostly-Retro. If you want to read my ramblings about living in Tokyo (and buying records/occasional descents into OCD insanity) I’d bookmark it.

Enough talk, now let’s get up on the dance floor.

Madonna
Vogue [12″ Version]
Vogue [Bette Davis Dub]
Vogue [Strike-A-Pose Dub]
Frozen (Stereo MC’s Mix)
Frozen (Meltdown Mix – Long Version)

Frozen (Extended Club Mix)
Frozen (Widescreen Mix)
I own both of these singles on vinyl. In fact, they’re two of my most prized 12″ records. However, they sound like total garbage. The “Vogue” single is scratched to high heaven, and the “Frozen” single just sounds like shit, like someone mastered it underwater. I spent probably two hours total trying to fix my rips so they’d sound better before I just said fuck it and bought he damn CD maxi-singles online. Because my sanity is worth more than the $10 I ended up paying for both of these combined. 

So yeah, these sound great. CD quality…as they are both from CDs. Look, sometimes the Turntable in “Lost Turntable” is metaphorical. In fact, it’s probably going to be for a while, as my turntable hasn’t even been shipped to Japan yet.

Excellent Dance Songs By Bands You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Friday, January 17th, 2014

In today’s adventures in Japanese television, I’m watching what I think is a Behind The Music type program about some horrible trauma that a celebrity Japanese fitness instructor went through. I think. It’s just cut together scenes of this woman dancing, then answering the phone, and then crying uncontrollably. But yo, her abs look great.

Tokyo life has been treating me very well for those who are wondering. I have decided to re-work my other site, Mostly-Retro, into a more personal blog that will focus on my life in Japan, so if you’re interested in that part of my life/Japan in general, I would suggest you bookmark that site.

If you like really rad dance tunes, then I suggest you keep reading this site right now.

Dinosaur
Kiss Me Again (Edit)
Kiss Me Again
Dinosaur was one of the many aliases of Arthur Russell, a prolific musician who was involved with the new wave/punk/minimalist/classical/disco scenes in NYC during the late 70s and early 80s. And in case you couldn’t tell from that exceptionally-hyphenated description, he was one multi-talented mofo.

While he didn’t release much during his life (Russell sadly died from AIDS-related compilations in the early 90s) he’s amassed quite the cult following in the years following his death, with several posthumous albums seeing release in the early 2000s.

Strangely enough, however, none of them seem to have either versions of this song, one of the first tracks that Russell commercially released. If they do, they’re long out of print, because I can’t find it anywhere outside of the 12″ single I bought a few years back. Damn shame too, because it’s a magnificent disco tune, a funky upbeat groovy jam that incorporates the best of leftfield disco and the late-70s dance sound that would eventually evolve into 80s house music. It even has a few elements of minimalism and new wave with its repetitive and hypnotic rhythms. I really dig it, a lot more than some of the other stuff by him I’ve sought out. You might want to check out the “Edit” version first though, as the 13-minute extended cut is a lot to take in.

The Fever
Ladyfingers (Krushed Glass Remix)
Glamorous Life
Glamorous Life (Fake Fur Remix)
Glamorous Life (Deepwood Remix)
Also ran NYC post-punk revival act who tried to re-invent themselves with an ambitious second album and failed. Not a bad group though, and they have a few decent songs. Of all the tracks of theirs I’ve heard, however, I love their cover of “Glamorous Life” the most because Shelia E. is the bomb. Expect a repost of remixes of the original version in a few days/weeks.

Kinky Go
Gimme The Love (Vocal Version)
Gimme The Love (Radio Version)
Gimme The Love (Instrumental)
You probably have no idea who Kinky Go is, and yo I’m right there with you. I love his falsetto on this track though. This is totally the best Erasure track Erasure never recorded. Italian disco at its finest (I think he’s Italian, even if he’s not I stand by that claim).

Writing About Big Country While In A Small Country

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

This Japanese medical drama I’m watching is hella intense. I think the star dude has to make a decision about which patient to save with the limited time and resources he has available. Of course, with the amount of time the dude is being all emo about it he could probably save them both ten times over, but hey where’s the drama in that?

Oh yeah, by the way I’m totally in Japan now! Woot! It’s crazy! I got my apartment and my immigration papers in order. Tomorrow I start processing at my new job! So much change in so little time! It’s like woah.

As I said before, I’m going to be way too busy to rip and write about newly discovered music, so here’s the first in what will probably be a long series of “best of” posts. In many cases the songs will be re-recorded and will sound better than the original versions I put up months or even years ago. So if even if you have downloaded the songs in these posts, I suggest downloading them again because they might sound better!

That being said, I’m pretty sure almost all of these tracks are just re-uploads of original rips that sounded fine in the first place.

Big Country
East Of Eden (Extended Version)
Fields Of Fire (Alternate Mix)
Giant
Wonderland (Extended Version)
In a Big Country (Live)
In A Big Country (Pure Mix)
Look Away (Outlaw Mix)
Look Away (12″ Mix)
One Great Thing (Big Baad Country Mix)
One Great Thing (Boston Mix)
Teacher (Mystery Mix)
Seriously, this Japanese medical show is intense. Dude did a tracheotomy on someone with a pair of diaper pins. That shit was hardcore.

These aren’t all the Big Country tracks I’ve posted over the years but they are A: my favorites and B: the ones that didn’t’ sound like total garbage. My plan was to re-record all of my Big Country tracks, but I just go so swamped with bullshit in the last few weeks before I headed out that I got swamped and couldn’t get it done. Sad, but not as sad as the fact that I couldn’t re-record ANY of my Erasure tracks – a real tragedy since most of those sound like steaming shit.

Okay, now  I just saw a commercial where a woman made a bento box of a walrus.

Japanese TV is really distracting.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who has wished me luck in this crazy journey! It really meant a lot to me. Enjoy the tunes, and expect more greatest hits from my archives sometime soon.

I also haven’t forgotten about Mostly-Retro, expect a new post there sometime next week as well.

The Neverending Blog Post

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

This past weekend I got so constipated that I had to go to the hospital.

Yeah, so how you doing?

I know this blog has kind of turned into me complaining about how I don’t have time to do anything and that moving to another country is super stressful but damn, I don’t have time to do anything! And moving to another country is super stressful! I did get a lot of stuff done, however, when I wasn’t doubled over in a hospital bed in agonizing pain. Got my apartment in Japan reserved. Started the prep to get my house on the market here. Packed up even more things for storage. But today I started the biggest endeavor of this entire process, I started packing up my records. And you know what? IT DIDN’T REALLY FEEL REAL UNTIL THEN.

Oh boy this is going to be a long month.

Limahl
Never Ending Story (Club Mix)
Never Ending Story (Instrumental)
I grew up with The Neverending Story. I remember watching the film repeatedly and, as a young geek, hoping and dreaming that I would one day have an awesome giant dog dragon that I could use to lay smite to my schoolyard enemies. That, sadly, never happened – but the dream remains. Who knows, maybe they have those in Japan.

There are apparently two different versions of The Neverending Story, the original, uncut European version and an edited and abridged version that was sent over to America. In addition to being slightly edited in length, the American version also features a different score that was composed by legendary techno god Giorgio Moroder, marking the first time ever that someone said “let’s make the movie appeal more to American audiences by replacing the orchestral music with euro dance music.”

While I’m sure the European version is more in line with the director’s original vision, it doesn’t have the awesome theme song by Limahl, so it can fuck right off.

Adam Ant
Room At The Top (21st Century Mix)
Another Art Of Mix DJ-only remix, albeit a very good one of an excellent track. This same LP had an amazing remix of “Vogue” that I shared a few weeks/months/somethings ago – probably making it the greatest DJ mix LP I own.

Did I mention this song is great? Cuz goddamn this song is great. Adam Ant is right y’know, there is always room at the top and don’t let them tell you is not. Fuck the man! Dress like a dandy highwayman and live your dreams!

British Electro and Two Awesome Songs About Getting It On With Dudes

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

One month until the move. Crunch time has begun. This means another super brief post unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll have time to write more soon. I do plan on writing many vinyl reviews at Mostly-Retro in the coming week, so keep an eye out over there, especially if you like horror movie soundtracks or Nirvana.

Now some entirely random tracks.

Newtrament
London Bridge Is Falling Down (Special Vocoder Mix)
London Bridge Is Falling Down (Extended Version)
London Bridge Is Falling Down (Dub Mix)
Originally released in 1983, this  is supposedly the very first UK hip-hop release. I have no way to confirm or deny that claim, although I have no reason to doubt it.

I have no idea who Newtrament is though. This is his only release listed on Discogs, he released this one song and that was it. At least it’s a damn good tune, an excellent piece of early-80s electro. All the mixes are great, but obviously the best of the bunch is the “Special Vocoder Mix” – because everything is made better with extraneous vocoder.

Franz Ferdinand
Dark Of The Matinee (Headman Remix)
This Fire (Playgroup Remix)
Michael (Thomas Eriksen Remix)
Franz Ferdinand are the secret best remix-friendly band in rock music today. All their singles have great remixes as b-sides, and I hope that one day all of these amazing mixes will see a proper release on a compilation of box set.  These excellent mixes are from the 12″ single to “Michael” – which is probably my favorite Franz Ferdinand track of all-time.

Elton Motello
Jet Boy Jet Girl (Full Seven Minute Version)
Last minute special request from the Pope.

This song is weird.

Great Songs By Artists I Know Very Little About

Monday, November 25th, 2013

And between the holidays, impending snowstorm, and my ongoing manic fury of getting everything done I need to get done before my big move, I don’t have time to find out more. But they’re good tunes, and I thought some of you all might enjoy them too.

Sweet
It’s It’s…The Sweet Mix
My knowledge of Sweet begins with “Ballroom Blitz” and ends with “Fox On The Run,” so I can’t tell you any of the other songs that make up this six-minute medley. It’s catchy though, and very disco-y, were they always like that? I assumed they were more a light-glam rock thing. Maybe I’ll pick up some Sweet while I’m in Japan. I don’t know why, but they strike me as the kind of act that would be big in Japan. Maybe it’s the wacky skintight outfits. In every picture of them I’ve seen they’ve always come off as a hybrid of glam rock and the Power Rangers.

Material
I’m The One (Dance Version)
Don’t Lose Control (Dance Version)
Material is one of Bill Laswell’s many side-projects. They started out as an entirely inaccessible “no wave” act (spoiler: I fucking hate “no wave” bullshit), but by 1982 they shifted their sound radically, and instead embraced a strong disco/funk sound. I assume this was around the time he started working with Herbie Hancock on the immortal “Rockit” but like I said, I’m way too busy/tired to do some proper research tonight. They sound like it though, as both of them (especially “Don’t Lose Control” have a heavy funk/electro sound to them that sounds very similar to Hancock’s stuff of that era. “Don’t Lose Control” even has superfluous vocoder! So it’s the best shit ever.

Seriously, if you like leftfield disco or early electronic music, check out One Down. It’ll blow you away. It even features a very early appearance by Whitney Houston!

Everyone have a splendid Thanksgiving (if you’re American, otherwise…um…enjoy your Thursday) and I’ll see next week with hopefully some posts of substance.

Depeche Frankenstein

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Yo.

Want some advice on home ownership?

TIP NUMBER ONE: NEVER BUY A HOME.

That’s the best way to ensure you never have to deal with the shit that’s involved with selling a home. The only way to win is not to play. Argh. You know…when you have to drive to your appraiser’s house and leave a threatening note on the motherfucker’s door to ensure that he gets the appraisal done A WEEK PAST THE DEADLINE HE GAVE YOU, that’s probably a bad sign. Bastard had no problem cashing my check on time though. I want to know what makes people think they can get away with that shit, especially with me!? What about me, a six-and-a-half-foot large man with a short temper, screams “easy mark”?

Anyways, yeah. Musics.

Edgar Winter
Frankenstein 1984 (Monster Version)
Frankenstein 1984 (Human Version)
Frankenstein 1984 (Monster Rap)
I originally posted these in 2009, I am reposting them tonight for three reasons.

  1. I meant to post them for Halloween but got busy.
  2. I recently re-recorded them and they sound hella better.
  3. These tracks are the illest shit ever.

“Frankenstein 1984″ is an electro remake of the original “Frankenstein.” The original version is one of the greatest instrumentals of all-time, so it goes without saying that this version is one of the greatest electro instrumentals of all-time. It’s certainly the greatest electro track ever written and performed by an albino keyboardist from Texas. From what I can tell, all the instrumentation of the original version is replaced with various synthesizer and synth effects. There are no drums, no bass, no guitar, just rad synths rocking synth basslines, synth licks and synth rhythms. Oh, and there’s even a vocoder. And as we all know, vocoders make even the dopest shit more dope.

I have no idea if any of these versions ever appeared on a proper Edgar Winter release, I sure as hell can’t find any evidence of such. The “Monster Version” is the uncut version, and that runs nearly a full 10 minutes. The “Human Version” is a single edit at about half the length. The “Monster Rap” version, as the title suggests, features a full rap section, although I don’t know who by. This entire release is lacking credits other than “Edgar Winter,” and while I’m liable to believe he did perform every instrument on this release (the man can play just about anything), I really don’t think he did the rap. At least, I hope not.

Depeche Mode
Should Be Higher (Truss Remix)
Should Be Higher (MPIA3 Definition)
Should Be Higher (Koen Groenveveld Massive Remix)
Should Be Higher (Pangaea Dub Remix)
Should Be Higher (Uberzone Remix)
Should Be Higher (DJMREX Remix)
There are at least 10 different remixes of this track. There are four on the CD single (plus a radio edit) and these six additional mixes that are all exclusive to the 12″ vinyl single. And when I mean they’re exclusive to the vinyl I mean it. As of right now, the only place you can get them is on that record, no digital versions are available anywhere – which is why I feel okay with sharing them here tonight.

I just wish they were better. The first one is okay as a dance track, but it really doesn’t sound much like the original tune, ditto for the two that follow it. The best of the bunch are the last two, which are the only ones to really keep any of the structure from original version at all. If you’re a DM completist (like me) you’ll probably find something to like about all of them, but otherwise I would just stick with the Uberzone and DJMREX mixes and leave the rest. And if you’re looking for a solid remix of a Delta Machine track, check out the Steve Angellos/Jacques Lu Cont mix of “Soothe My Soul.” That shit is epic, although the original version is pretty great too.

 

I Feel Lovely

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO BEFORE I MOVE I SHOULDN’T EVEN BE WRITING THIS!

I certainly shouldn’t have taken the time out of my day to review the new re-release of David Bowie’s Earthling LP either!

I’m incredibly irresponsible!

DISCO!

Donna Summer
I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Mix)
So, I’m moving to Japan (AND IT’S MAKING ME REALLY BUSY – AND YELL) and most “normal person” preparation for a move like that would be things like “find an apartment,” “buy the clothes you need,” “get your finances in order.” And yeah, I’m doing all that important stuff, but I’m also making sure I buy certain things that I’ve been putting off for years that I know I won’t be able to easily get once I move to Japan. Case in point – I’ve had the 2CD out-of-print edition of Journey: The Best Of Donna Summer bookmarked in my browser for over a year now, and I finally went ahead and bought it last week. Because it’s important. Also because I just thought of it again after getting both a Patrick Cowley compilation and a Donna Summer album in the course of two weeks.

Why is it important? Because it’s the only way to get a digital version of this amazing mix of the most important dance song of all-time (that is not hyperbole!). With this mix Patrick Cowley, a genius who I have repeatedly talked about here, and on Mostly-Retro, took a song that was perfect and made it better. He made a perfect thing…more perfect.

Look, I can’t explain it, and like I said, I really don’t have the time to be eloquent right now, so you’re going to have to take what you can get. I just know that this mix, this sensational, amazing, I’m-out-of-superlatives mix might just be the greatest dance track ever. I have literally listened to this all day. Holy shit.

Sylvester
Rock The Box (Dance Version)
Rock The Box (Drum Box)
Rock The Box (Dub Box)
“Rock The Box” came out after Patrick Cowley died, but it certainly carries on his spirit with its catchy synth melodies and heavy electronic sound. The track is from Sylvester’s album M-1015. I haven’t found many positive reviews of that record, but I feel like it’s ripe for rediscovery. When it came out it was probably dated thanks to its heavy disco sound, but today I think it holds up quite well, like a magical combination of the best of early 80s disco and mid-80s synthpop. “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” is straight-up one of Sylvester’s best tunes, with both “Sex” and “Take Me To Heaven” also rocking it hard. The album also features backup vocals by Martha Walsh (“It’s Raining Men,” every C+C Music Factory track worth a damn) and Jeanie Tracy, an underrated vocalist whose awesomeness I’ve covered previously.

I have a ton of other Sylvester and other Megatone (Cowley’s labe) stuff I plan on putting up at a later date, so if this post leaves you hankering for some Hi-NRG bangers, you’ll be in luck! If not, um…sorry?

I also plan on posting an Alien Ant Farm rarity soon too, maybe you’ll like that?