Monday, June 27, 2011

Schatrax - Champagne Dancer (2010 Edit)

Yet another deep house release in 2010. Soft chords, a bassline full of depth and groove, some claps...yawn. Lacking in originality? Not quite. "Champagne Dancer" is the originality, first released in 1998, and snapped up here by Fear of Flying and re-released with a limited edition vinyl-only edit from Schatrax himself and a remix from Justin Drake.

The original—containing little more than a kick drum, bass, some keys and that hypnotic synth is an unfussy, raw and delightful classic house track. Thankfully, the 2010 edit hasn't been played with too much and its timeless sound remains almost intact. Any 1998 creases have been ironed out and the groove has been calibrated for modern audiences. Other than a few tweaks, the A1 and A2 are very close. The trouble is—somewhere along the line—it's lost some of its gruff charm. The kick drum is less aggressive, the bass warmer and the piano smoother. What makes this edit stand out is the new looped and slow panning sound that's been run through a low frequency flanger effect. High pitched and relentlessly menacing against the backdrop of sexy bass and mature chords, it fits into 2010 like a glove.

Justin Drake's remix, spanning the entire B-side, has a techier feel. Drake has re-worked it into a rolling floor bouncer with spacious drums, chords and a short vocal snippet. Well-arranged and well-produced, I still can't help but feel that it's been designed purely as a club tool, giving "Champagne Dancer" yet another opportunity to be slung in the middle of a mix for the floor. That's all well and good, but it didn't need any help. It was already a gem in the midst of many a record bag.



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