Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A neanderthal thrust

I tweeted this a couple days ago, but I have recently rediscovered the Trouser Enthusiasts remix of Gloria Estefan's "Heaven's What I Feel", lovingly and very oddly named the "Neanderthal Thrust Mix."

On first listen, it should be everything I hate about remixes. It is over 10 minutes long, uses very little of the original vocal, and has a thumping beat specifically designed to give you a headache. But for some reason, it is one of my all time favorite remixes. It is not available for purchase anywhere that I can locate, and can only be found on the discontinued "Heaven's What I Feel" CD maxi-single.(although apparently you can still buy that for little or nothing.) As I recall, it was the ONLY good remix on the CD, even though I remember saying that this was the way to do remix singles - as in pack them full of remixes rather than going skimpy. Alas, in the never ending battle between quality and quantity, quality frequently suffers at the hand of quantity.

This song came from what is still my favorite Gloria Estefan album, gloria!, a statement that makes me wonder if it's okay for a 37 year old guy to have a "favorite Gloria Estefan album." What I loved about gloria! was how it forced her out of her interchangeable ballad mode and kicked her into more uptempo songs. Really, songs like "Can't Stay Away From You", "Anything For You", "Don't Wanna Lose You", and "Coming Out of the Dark" are really all the same song. So disillusioned was I with Gloria Estefan that my sister and I changed the lyric to Laura Branigan's "Gloria" from "feel your innocence slipping away/Don't believe it's coming back soon" to "originality slipping away/don't believe it's coming back soon." Gloria! functions well as a non-stop dance album, even though there are still a couple songs I could live without.

But the Trouser Enthusiasts Neanderthal Thrust Mix of "Heaven's What I Feel" REALLY took the album to the clubs. When I listen to it, I see one of two things. I see driving into a large city at late at night but not feeling the least bit tired. I also see it in the setting of a dance club where the strobe lights are so intense everyone's seizure threshold has been dangerously lowered. For me, the definition of a good remix is that it takes an already good song, being respectful to the original all the while steering it in a bold new direction. This remix does exactly that. How I wish they had gotten their hands on some of Madonna's songs. We could have been spared the repetitive hand claps of Junior Vasquez (be honest, every remix of his after "Secret" just turned the song into "Secret") and we might have actually gotten a good remix of "Nothing Really Matters."

Anyway, listen and enjoy.

(and yes, I just successfully turned a tweet into a blog post)

No comments: