Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Two frankly unnecessary cover versions

How many nights have you lain in bed, unable to settle or rest, as your brain ponders the big, unknowable questions of our time: Why are we here? Is there a peaceable solution to the Middle East conflict? Can you cry underwater? Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

But the one that's robbed me of the most sleep this: When is someone going to remake Afroshock's Slave To The Vibe as a post-millennial club banger?

Amazingly, the wait is over. London-based producer Billon (which he insists on spelling B I L L O N, so let's just call him by his real name, Ed Butler) has grabbed the song and shaken it by its ankles, producing a piano-driven house edit that's laser-targetted at those depressingly superficial boat parties people go on about in Ibiza.

Here it is.

Meanwhile, rising singer-songwriter Stephanie Ella Gautier (aka Ella On The Run) has turned in a disturbingly minor key version of All That She Wants. Yes, that All That She Wants. By Ace of Base.

Ella's version was prompted by a radio session, where she was tasked with re-tooling a retro favourite. "I had a basic idea of where I felt the chorus should go melodically, as the lyrics are actually quite dark," she told The 405. "My amazing band members immediately understood the vibe I was going for. We played through it once and it just felt right. I never tried the original melody, I don't think it would have worked, either."

Her arrangement really works, re-contextualising a classic in an unsettling new light. But let's be honest, nothing can surpass the original.

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