Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Roy Davis and Todd Edwards

What do you write about on Christmas Eve, when you have a gang of music to deal with but you’ve spent so much time downloading it, sending feedback and making sure that it’s somewhere you can find it easily when you do need to listen to it? Simple, you pick out a five-track remix EP by Chicago house music guy Roy Davis Jr. and you gush endlessly about the Todd Edwards remix dub. If only all writing conundrums could be solved this easily.

Scion, those purveyors of boxy, little cars, also have an Audio Visual arm, with which occasionally like to put out digital releases, and the odd rekkid too. So far their releases have centred in and around the accepted modes of club music, i.e. electro and hip-hop, or a combo of both. As I am completely over both of these genres — in their more mainstream leaning forms anyway — I was glad to see that the car people had decided to go into a more groovy direction with Roy Davis Jr. and a host of credible remix talent.

The song is called “I Have A Vision,” a title which smacks of late ‘80s and early ‘90s starry eyed idealism — we could all do with a bit of that right now I think — and makes you want to run and grab your super deep house records and uplifting New York and New Jersey garage toons. Luckily I have an ample supply of all of these types of music, which means I’m always on the hunt for something new and fresh sounding. As the decade winds out and the whole edit/disco retro scenario starts to get long in the tooth (or is it the beard?), we’ll hopefully see and hear some new new sounding gear.

Todd Edwards’s remix dub has a certain freshness to it; it’s fast, slick, groovy and has the producer’s signature chopped up vocal style. It reminds me of his wicked mix of “If I Ever Feel Better” by Phoenix, coupled with the power of Justice (with all their jagged corners smoothed down) and a bit of Speed Garage, which Edwards influenced heavily anyway. I’ve been into his sound since the mid-90s after hearing killer cuts like “Saved My Life” and “Winter Behaviour.” This dub on Roy Davis Jr.’s record is another Edwards classic, not that the other mixes by Fred Falke, The Juan MacLean and Davis himself are sloppy, not at all, but Todd Edwards’s dub contains an effortless funk futurism that used to be dance music’s MO. We’ve taken the step back to re-evaluate the ‘70s and ‘80s, might be time for that step forward. Hopefully.


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