Jimmy Edgar "Sex Drive"

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At this point, Enjoying the "Sex Drive" single likely has very little to do with one's opinion of Jimmy Edgar. After all, the song first appeared on his latest full-length, Majenta, which dropped back in May. On the whole, the LP didn't offer much in the way of surprises, apart from the fact that it was released on Scuba's Hotflush imprint. In musical terms, the album largely saw the Detroit-reared producer continuing to refine his sleaze-drenched explorations of various electro-oriented soundscapes, and "Sex Drive" was a solid example of that. Now, nearly six months later, the release of a "Sex Drive" single isn't likely to change a lot of minds about Edgar, or even garner the original track a lot of extra play. On the other hand, the remixes here—courtesy of Jon Convex and John Talabot—are quite interesting, and are well worth a closer examination.

Of the two remixers, Convex is the one who keeps closer to the original. In truth, his version does offer a little more dancefloor pep, employing a steady kick while boosting the tempo slighty. While Edgar's original has more of a herky-jerky, stop-and-start feel, its drum patterns harkening back to '80s electro and hip-hop, Convex is clearly in search of the dancefloor, and he's created a remix that keeps Edgar's salacious vocals intact while building a brawny techno undercarriage. Plenty of synths color the mix, but they're not particularly melodic, as the UK producer prefers to keep things dark and menacing; utilizing a sound palette that borders on a goth/industrial, his rework has an undeniably hard-edged overtone. Overall, it's an effective effort, and one that will likely appease fans of Convex's own work and his previous output as one half of Instra:mental. (There's even a vocal-free "Dub Mix" for those seeking a version without Edgar's lecherous crooning.) Nevertheless, it's hard to shake the notion that these mixes of "Sex Drive" are more functional than transcendent; as such, they're not likely to have much staying power.

In contrast, the remix turned in by Barcelona's John Talabot is truly something special. Tagged as his "In Aguirre Rework," the track bears almost no resemblance to the original, as Talabot has deconstructed the song completely. In its place, he's erected a slow-burning, almost ethereal number full of organic drum sounds, gradual builds, and mere traces of the distinctive vocal. More than nine minutes in length, it's no stretch to classify the remix as an epic undertaking, one with multiple movements and a powerful emotional payoff. In truth, this version is just as dark as Edgar's original and Convex's remixes, perhaps even more so. But where the single's other offerings are defined by an over-the-top, almost cartoonish sort of fun, Talabot's effort is weighed down by an unquestionably eerie vibe and a potent sense of foreboding. Even when some big piano chords enter the fray nearly six minutes into the song, the effect isn't euphoric. At that point, the track certainly becomes bigger and more capable of enveloping the listener in its ominous rhythms, but there's nothing comforting about the sensation. On the contrary, Talabot's rework remains somber and melancholy, even during its slowly unfurling crescendo. However, it's also excellent. Without question, it's the highlight here, and another example of why Talabot is one of 2012's most compelling electronic artists.