Are you going to remember this in six months?
That’s a new litmus test I’m trying out with new music. It’s limited and a bit pretentious – not everything good is meant to stand the test of time. Sometimes good enough for now is good enough. Yet I have the feeling that as future shock takes its toll, this will soon be compressed from six months to six weeks. Six days. Six minutes. There are already tracks that I can’t remember while they’re still playing. This is a new frontier in medical amnesia, one that can be experienced any time the DJ (any DJ) plays the new (any new) Hot Creations record.
Consider your own life, though, and think about music in terms of it. Life is too short to waste on records that are just “adequate”. Everyone has memories tied in with records they’ve heard – albums or EPs or mixtapes that they keep coming back to because they evoke something deep and meaningful within their own lives. Keep those records close – they’re the only ones that really matter in the end.
“Forever Monna” is one of those for me. I don’t remember when I first heard it, but given my general squareness, it was probably a year or two after it was first released. And here it is again, in an unreleased mix, and I’m playing it again and again thanks to this record from Chez Damier and his collaboration with Ben Vedren, Heart 2 Heart.
A user on discogs characterized “Forever Monna” as “heaven’s themesong”. “Damnzenman”, I know what you mean, brother. There’s precisely one song on this planet that I can imagine playing in the background when I get married, get buried or get saved, and on all three occasions “Forever Monna” provides that level of transcendence that humans ascribe to events bigger than themselves. TS Eliot had the belief that people could be roused to such passion that poetry would become their natural language – poetry, rather than prose. This is what the most exceptional electronic music captures – a passion, a frenzy but also that “peace which passeth understanding”. Some people find it in church, or a bottle, meditation or yoga, the 23rd Psalm or the contemplation of the first three words of the Book of Genesis. I find it here.
This is a new mix, loading up the back of the truck with a fury of latin beats and a fat bassline over that gorgeous, fluid and (yeah, it’s a cliché, but if anything qualifies it, it’s this) timeless melody. Even more surprising is “Tudor Por Amor”, a new track which shares a side with the classic and has all of the drama and underlying tension without sacrificing “Forever”’s glistening surface beauty. This latin side of Chez Damier is something I hadn’t heard before – it’s still stubbornly electronic, still resolutely modern, but with a latin swing at the heart of it that captures every other element in its orbit. On the flip are two new remixes of “Shigan” (reviewed here previously by myself and more recently Will Sumsuch). I can see why this one gets so much mileage: it’s an unapologetically celebratory song, about as close as quality Deep House can get to an “anthem” without bleeding over the margins into schmaltz. The Rex Club Mix is more uptempo and ecstatic than any of the previous edits; the Detroit 3000 Dub has more of an underground, sensual feel – the kind of sound that seeks out the dark corners of club and pulls the occupants back out to the dancefloor.