The art of the remix: The Right Stuff consists of two double LP / CD volumes which were released by Stylus Music during 1989 and 1990. The premise for Remix ’89 is “The hottest 12 inch remixes of ’89” with the four sides categorised under Hits, House, Soul and Latin House. It was a TV-advertised compilation; I remember watching the hazy plugs during breaks of The Hitman And Her. Post-club kebab. Barry Lazell writes the sleeve notes and makes some valid points about the public’s demand for remixes and the opportunity it gives artists and producers: “The remixer’s purpose is to take that original and add, subtract, twist around and subtly alter its elements to emphasise the best above the rest”.
Hits Remix: Billy Ocean’s Licence To Chill is first out. Almost new jack swing and produced by Mutt Lange. Although mix titles generally aren’t listed, many of the tracks The Right Stuff – Remix ’89 are previously released 12″ remixes, or edits. So there’s Big Fun’s sparkling version of Blame It On The Boogie. Sunshine. Moonlight. Real horror show – get in line for Damian’s hysterical Time Warp. King Davey; a sniper of a tune down the in Coach Bar. Lose yourself to S-Express and their higher + higher rhythms of Hey Music Lover. Paula Abdul blasts out a finely-tuned choreographed diamond in the remix of Straight Up. Moody Mancunians A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray is squelchy brilliance while The Beatmasters’ underappreciated Ska Train is hidden trippy excellence.
House Remix: The path is well-trodden by Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam. And the crack is good for De La Soul’s island in the sun; Three Feet High And Rising’s shining 45 Say No Go. Say no dope. Follow through on Monie Love’s crucial Grandpa’s Party. The street smart Doowhatchyalike remains Digital Underground’s peak moment; one of Tommy Boy’s greatest beats. Radio stations, start your fade here. But at a house party the beat is allowed to continue. Elsewhere EPMD let the funk flow on the harsh hip hop of I’m Housin’ while Cookie Crew’s Born This Way (Let’s Dance) is blindingly fresh and still drops. Wind down to Tyree’s Turn Up The Bass; the short sharp Fast Eddie Mix.
Soul Remix: Inner City’s Big Fun (Club Remix) is always a sheer pleasure to listen to. You know the score. Our title track, The Right Stuff from Vanessa Williams, benefits from a Norman Cook remix. There’s some crossover with Now Dance ’89 – The 12″ Mixes at this point with Donna Allen’s cool cover of the Frankie Beverley-penned Joy And Pain and Chanelle’s hypnotic and busy One Man. Time for quality Chicago soul now as Liz Torres informs us that Payback Is A Bitch. Karmacoma. And Lonnie Gordon before the big 1990 breakthrough; the driving It’s Not Over Yet. Top off with Dionne’s moody banger, Come Get My Lovin’. This one is all about the snare and absolute kicking bass.
Latin House Remix: The best version of Starlight’s Numero Uno is the New Remix with its Aretha Franklin samples. Present and correct. Then it’s Sueno Latino’s eponymous Balearic anthem The Latin Dream Edit – meant to be on Deep Heat ’89 – Fight The Flame. Less well remembered is Cry Sisco’s urban shakedown Afro Dizzi Act which is laden with judicious soundbites. Let’s work it to the bone with Cappella’s piano pounder Helyom Halib while the Koxo Club Band melt up a tropicala sound with Italian house on Paradhouse. That just leaves Richie Rich’s everlasting warehouse raver Salsa House. And float into the night to Raul Orellana’s evocative sunrise moment The Real Wild House.
Starlight – Numero Uno (New Remix)
Dionne – Come Get My Lovin’ (Remix)
Cookie Crew – Born This Way (Let’s Dance)
Richie Rich – Salsa House
Lest we forget
The Beatmasters – Ska Train