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  • Filed under: Review
  • 04/18/2013

Dusky Flo Jam Remixes

Nearly a year after its initial release, "Flo Jam" remains a high-water mark for London-based duo Dusky (a.k.a. Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman). Helping to keep Dusky's positive momentum rolling, Sheffield's Dogmatik is revisiting "Flo Jam"'s success with a remix package that freshens up the ubiquitous title cut, but also digs into the undeservedly overlooked tracks from the original EP.

Given the song's notoriety, it might seem like an A&R roll of the dice to leave the remixing of "Flo Jam" itself to a relative newcomer. Yet Brooklyn producer Mangetout, who just released his debut EP back in February, proves up for the challenge. Slowing the tempo, Mangetout's "rebattre"—French for reshuffle—reimagines the original's elastic synth melody as something much darker, presenting a tough, woozy bassline that morphs into chunky gothic chords. When the soulful "Boy you really make me float/Boy you really make me high" lyric wafts through the track, numbing the sting of pitched organ notes and coating a modest 2-step shuffle with reverb warmth, the remix conjures the understated potency of pre-dubstep titans Horsepower Productions while maintaining Dusky's own clever combinations of low end and 4/4 rhythms.

Moving away from the UK bass sound, Detroit-cum-Berlin producer Kris Wadsworth takes the edge off the too-propulsive "Numerical," giving Dusky's original R&B-tinged vocal sample some additional room to breathe. A heavy kick sets the pace, but takes its time before introducing an organ riff lifted from Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together" and the true start of the track. Once that moment arrives, the remix erupts with waves of dirty bass modulation, scattershot "ah"s, a rolling hi-hat, and the return of that instantly recognizable Hammond. It may take Wadsworth longer than necessary to get to the point, but when he arrives at it, he makes it worth it.

Poker Flat staple and frequent Dan Berkson collaborator James What keeps his remix of "Mystical" equally slow burning. He sticks true to the track's name and his roots, with a lazy, afterhours vibe that is deep and straight ahead, almost too much so.

Also recontextualizing the otherwise bouncy garage of Dusky for the deep tech-house heads that worship at the Rebel Rave altar, Visionquest's Laura Jones favors a late-night meditation to the original skip of "Every Day." Jones' hypnotic brew sees sub-bass humming underneath a galloping, padded beat, as washes of atmospherics compete for attention with the squelch of layered synths. The rising production talent isn't breaking any more ground than What—and it's tough to let go of the buoyant and textured original—but Jones is more successful at bringing Dusky into a new world, bridging the gap between once-disparate pockets of house music in much the same way that this EP's namesake track has.

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