Playlist of the Week: Dam Swindle
Playlist of the Week: Dam SwindleSeptember 8, 2021
When we got asked to remix the Salsoul catalogue we felt so incredibly honoured, but at the same time, got a little scared. Remixing anything from their extensive discography raises some serious challenges — how can you tastefully remix a track that is (almost) perfect? And how do you add your own signature without losing the essence of the original? Questions that every producer will have had, but even more so when remixing classics.
So then the next question is a tough one — if you can choose from such a big array of tracks, do you choose something that people will know? Or something obscure? If you choose the latter, chances are that people will have less of a strong opinion about it. If you choose the first, the chance that you could mess it up (in the eyes of the beholder) increases tenfold.
After long deliberation, we chose to remix some stone-cold, very well-known classics and put in some serious work (and time). After months of putting in the hours and several recording sessions, we finally got to the point where we felt we could answer the first two questions with a positive answer; we got it!
The following list is an homage to (at least for our ears) perfectly executed edits, remixes, or covers. Always adding something to elevate the original to a new level without losing sight of its pedigree.
Devin Dare – Policy [Stillove4music]
This is the kind of edit that we love to play. High energy but hardly recognisable as an edit. It hasn’t been over-produced but still packs enough punch to get any dancefloor screaming. He expertly loops exactly the parts that will drive the energy to astronomical heights.
Superprince – Strong Feeling [Razor-N-Tape Records]
This is an example of a track on which we didn’t know the original track. The track feels like there is some added percussion to really emphasise the driving character of the original. A great example of a track that makes the best of an, to us, unknown track and making it current.
Soul Reductions – Got 2 Be Loved [Classic Music Company]
A great example of using a slow original and speeding it up, but not noticeable. You would simply think it was sung by a woman instead of Leon Ware, a well-renowned male soul singer. Adding just the right amount of percussion to make every sound system grunt with pleasure.
People’s Choice – Here We Go Again (Joey Negro Philly Stomp Mix) [Z Records]
If we’re talking about edits, we have to include one of the greatest and most prolific re-imaginer of disco/soul; Dave Lee (Joey Negro). With this specific track, he has masterfully created a fatter, more energetic version of the original, but again without meddling too much with the original vibe. To be very honest, we would not play the original after hearing this version.
Dele Sosimi – E Go Betta (O’Flynn Re-Edit) [Wah Wah 45s]
This edit has been featured steadily in our sets. O’Flynn shows how you can add contemporary elements to a track that is so true to form it could dictate the Afrobeat genre by itself. O’Flynn makes the track playable and audible for more electronic-minded sets by adding depth and width to the fully live recorded original. Job well done in our view.
First Choice – Let No Man Put Asunder (Dam Swindle Remix) [Salsoul]
This was probably the hardest remix we’ve ever attempted. How do you remix a track that has been played so much, remixed hundreds of times, and frankly, is a masterpiece in its own right. It took us months to get it precisely right and even now we hear things that we maybe could’ve done better. However, we are extremely proud of the result and couldn’t have done it without the help of our trusted session musicians. Extra detail — we used a part of the vocal that we’ve not heard in the original or any of the other remixes or edits… If we’re wrong, please let us know!
Nachtbraker – Hamdi [Heist Recordings]
Next up is an original track that we’ve released on our label Heist Recordings. Nachtbraker uses the sample “Mahlalela” expertly and creates a whole new universe for it to exist in. A great example of taking a single flower and re-arranging it in a bouquet to let it shine. This is a track that takes the best of both worlds and will destroy any dancefloor out there. And that’s a bet!
City Group’s Band – Our Time (Young Pulse Edit) [Fulltime Production]
Young Pulse is a young producer from Paris that we had the fortune to run into at Suncébeat this year. This guy has made some absolute bangers of edits the last couple years and is not nearly finished. What we really like about his style is that he is very careful with the originals in his edits. You won’t catch him ‘overdoing’ it, rather stretching the strong parts to perfection whilst adding slight enhancements to the mix. Be sure to also check his “Strong Survive” edit — 100% success guaranteed!
Double Exposure – Everyman (Dam Swindle remix) [Salsoul]
Another one that we took our sweet time for. “Everyman” is such an amazing track and has so many elements that you could work with that we almost got lost in it. Luckily, we found our way by stripping it down to the core and treating it almost like sampling the track for an original house track. We’d try to make it way more dancefloor-friendly, and by doing so, opening the vibe of the original up to a new audience.
Amadou Balake – Massa Kamba (Ben Gomori’s Massabbatical Edit) [Sterns Edits]
When these edits dropped, we immediately jumped on them. The “Massa Kamba” edit never loses sight of how the original was intended by not warping it to a grid. Ben Gomnori leaves the swinging character of the original intact and this is something we can really appreciate. Ben then crafts a huge breakdown and buildup which will work surprisingly well in any (slightly more eclectic) house set.