July 16, 2007

Deetron feat. DJ Bone - Life Soundtrack

200712"HouseTechno

Deetron’s “Life Soundtrack” was one of the revelations of Radioslave’s “tough toys for tough boys” Misch Masch mix - mostly for DJ Bone’s wonderful vocal. There’s a lot of this malarky going about at the moment - get a European to put together the track, then get a black American innovator to add a vocal part. Maybe it’s just because most white producers have such reedy, weak little voices. Imagine a Frank Oz preachapella and you’ll get the gist.

So anyway, the solution to a possible horror: first there was Coldcut’s soppy “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” with Robert Owens, then Innervisions’ “Where We At” with Derrick Carter, and now “Life Soundtrack”. If the first was all about sentimental tears on the dancefloor, and the second was a head nod and a whoop in agreement, then this baby’s a pumping fist and a set jaw - the big bad techno other to its softer, wüssier housemates. The reason’s the content, as Bone can tell you himself. It’s because “this sound comes from dirt, pain, boredom, cold streets, nothing from nothing to everything, from frustration to innovation, this sound makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you hate, makes you stomp, makes you clap. This music, deep down, special place, special time, special sound, lives forever - life soundtrack.”

And damn, doesn’t it sound great, especially where, as with the Radioslave version, Bone’s sonorous voice is given enough space for each of the phrases to hit you as the whole thing chugs past. It’s a fresh demonstration of Matt Edwards’ intuitive understanding as to which elements of the track need repeating, which need foregrounding, and which need binning. But then there’s Redshape’s version, which utilises the mystery man’s masterful re-manufacture of the mid-nineties Detroit vibe, harnessing yet another crunchy, percolating groove to a whole lotta late night dirt. It doesn’t treat the vocal as well, but it’s so sharp, rich and grinding that you’ll barely care.

Deetron’s edit is like hearing backwards to the elements of a track after both the Radioslave and Redshape remixes, each of which gives a very strong, singular impression. Deetron’s version is still a great track, but it’s less stylish, more generic, less tense. Last of all there’s the “Rejected Interpretation”, which is stripped right back and pulled down into the deep, as a concession to DJs who are playing too small a room at too early in the evening for the scale and growl of the other versions. It starts off well, but loses it for me in the later sections with a proggy, generic arrangement that will age very quickly.

Music Man / MM 133 / MM 133R
[Listen]
[Listen]
[Peter Chambers]


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