Before listening to this, I wasn’t sure if a package of remixes was warranted. “Hey Hey” is probably the biggest track to blow through House Music since the mid-1990s, with a staying power that’s puzzled the jaded (“I coulda done that!”) and humbled everyone else (me among them) who argued that the days of the mega-hit record that found a way into everyone’s book were over. The bootlegs are understandable; the knock-offs unsurprising in a genre that’s always had nearly as much cheek as musical ability.
But here’s the thing: this is the remix package that should have been out on release, and it’s definitely better late than never. With one exception, Defected and Objektivity didn’t go fishing for the big names – of all of the releases in the last 12 months, “Hey Hey” needs hype from high-ticket remixers less than any other. That one exception is Karizma, and whatever you might expect from knowing his sound, turn it around because he flips the script with a dubbiest of dubs. It sounds chunky and raw – almost as if he somehow taped the master to reel-to-reel and got at it with a razor blade. Tom de Neef (best known for his Bazement Freakz partnership with Eddie Amador) does a fairly mental edit, pulling out the vocal and background vocals over pretty much an entirely different soundscape of isolated keys and irregular rhythms.
Both of those as well as mixes by Crookers and Dim Chris are tailored toward taking “Hey Hey” to different crowds in this splintered scene. But while I’m sure I’ll hear it from the electro and circuit DJs, I’m not sure that the original mix hasn’t already staked a claim in those territories. That’s kind of the appeal of “Hey Hey”, isn’t it? There are very few records that you can drop at any party, anywhere in the world and have them bury the fucking needle into the red each and every time. You’re talking about “Perculator”, “Preacherman”, “Get Get Down”, “Mary Mary” – and “Hey Hey”. These remixes will give new blood to a new classic, but I also think that you can’t go wrong whipping out the original and letting that underlying message do the talking.