Take the most famous opening notes and the most seminal chorus in House Music history and add Frankie Knuckles, Eric Kupper, Todd Terry and Terry Hunter as remixers… For maybe the first time in my life, describing music with words has never seemed so pointless. Marshall Jefferson (hot off the Ten City Reunion concert here in Chicago) is nailing it with his classic reissues on Open House music, providing 2010-ready remixes to songs you know by heart.
Not that this is easy. Plenty of big-time producers have just crapped all over classics with remixes lately, adding Swedish House Mafia-style cheese or wonky electro chords. It’s a sham – and even that’s not as bad as the endless reissues celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 5th anniversary of the first birthday of some song you barely cared about twenty years ago. It’s sad that DJs and fans care so much more about the music, and treat their original copies with much more reverence and devotion than many of the labels that put them out in the first place.
That’s clearly not the case here. Let me state that again: It’s absolutely not the case here. Marshall Jefferson has put together what’s going to be remembered as the remix pack of the year, worthy of both the name and the reputation of the original House Music Anthem.
Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper (under the collaborative title Director’s Cut) isolate that key riff, draw out the vocal and with some peak-hour FX make this something you really can listen to and appreciate anew. Terry Hunter’s Lower Wacker House Mix suppresses the vocal with a little bit of a Latin swing (something that’s been popping up in a number of his releases these days) and reassembles the track into something entirely fresh. Todd Terry’s Inhouse Mix is the most radical of the pack, with 8-bit analog sounds. It’s surprisingly commercial – and actually, that’s what’s most interesting here, in the big-picture sense. All four producers have stepped outside of the sound they’re best known for, and used the vehicle of what’s unquestionably the most instantaneously recognizable track in House Music history to do so.