Saturday, August 16, 2008

Andrew Komis R.I.P.

I honestly thought there would be more dewy eyed reminiscing about the second summer of love 1988. Perhaps I’m not paying enough heed, but it didn’t seem to get the attention that I anticipated. Ah well, there’s been enough mythologizing about that summer down the years, especially in the British dance music magazines. The summer of 1988 was when house music etc. exploded in London, with acid house really taking hold in the clubs, and artists like Todd Terry, Phuture, Reese and Santonio, Baby Ford and Model 500 pushing through with new sounds.

However, amid this deluge of top quality American music coming across the Atlantic in all its shrink wrapped glory there were also quite a few Canadian records, produced by a group of individuals in Toronto. Among these were Nick Fiorucci and the late Michael Ova, who went on to found Hi Bias Records in the early 90s, Hayden Andre Brown and Ron Allen who founded the Strobe Records label, and a mysterious producer named Komix. In the late ‘80s they were producing tracks for a label called Bigshot Records, which was founded by Komix and Fiorucci.

Komix aka Andrew Komis was responsible for such Bigshot gems as “Give Me A Sign” by In-dex, summer of 1988 anthem “Come and Get My Lovin’” by Dionne (though the 1989 remix, also by Komix, was the orbital rave jam) and the incredible cover of E.S.P.’s “It’s You” by Mr. and Mrs. Dale (recently featured on the Kings of Electro comp by Trevor Jackson and Alter Ego). He also crafted a string of killer tracks for US garage vocalist Pandella. Komis didn’t have the profile of Kevin Saunderson, Blaze or Kerri Chandler, but he did deliver some exquisite house jams throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and his records made you sit up and take notice.

Why? There are many technical reasons why, but let’s just say that his tunes stood out. If you can find his 1994 remix dub of Donna Giles’s “And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going),” a double pack also featuring mixes by Derrick Carter, Johnny Vicious and Kerri Chandler, you’ll see what I mean. Komis’s mix really delivers the goods, with its driving, square wave bass line, slapping beats and lush pads making it a perfect, abstract house groover, a secret weapon for the discerning house dj who steers away from sub-genres and focuses on good tunes instead.

Sadly, Andrew Komis passed away last week in California, at the young age of 41 after a very short battle with leukemia. He will be missed greatly by the dance music community and his contribution to house music will never be forgotten. Thanks for the tunes Andrew, they soundtracked many moments and memories that will always remain precious.



Nick said...

Thanks for kind words and memory of Andrew.


Nick Fiorucci

BananaSpam said...

Thanks for all the great Hi Bias records Nick!
I'm going back to them again. DJs rule indeed!