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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Shout Out Louds, "Tonight I Have To Leave It (Kleerup Remix)" (2007)

In which Kleerup remixes a Cure track so that it sounds like the Pet Shop Boys, and 80s music lovers die en mass and ascend to heaven.

Sorta. The already-awesome original version of "Tonight I Have To Leave It" does evince other influences: like much of the garage-rock band's output (as well as that of Swedish compatriots like The Concretes, and The Legends before they went electro), there's definitely the specter of Spector on the record -- say, in the gorgeous string arrangement -- and perhaps a bit of New Order. But that guitar, and the singing, feels like absolute Cure.

For his remix, Kleerup bravely, or foolishly, removes that string arrangement. It's hard not to say "foolishly," because, while the original version ostensibly has a chorus ("So I heard it's no good to run/But it feels so much better now that it's done/And tonight I have to leave it"), it's the swelling strings that truly serve as the song's hook. But Kleerup compensates. Firstly, most obviously: he ramps up the beat, to the kind of hi-NRG Euro-gallop that isn't too far from the Pet Shop Boys defacto rhythm (we're just a few orchestral stabs away from "A Red Letter Day"). And then there are those cowbells: introducing the song and then receding in the original version, but for the remix assuming major importance. In some ways they take the place of the strings, and, combined with the beat, do nothing so much as remind me of "Always On My Mind." And for his final trick: Kleerup brings in a tremendous synth wash -- just briefly at the 2:05 mark, teasing us again at 2:50, and then, at 3:39, when we expect its final return, we instead get the gurgling synth line to take us all the way out of the song, and to soundtrack the heavenly ascent.

Bonus: Since it's practically Kleerup week here, perhaps you fancy hearing the man's much more middling remix of Roxette's "Reveal"?


  • I really like the idea that good remixes compensate for how they violate the songs they're remixing. It goes far in explaining what had been my inchoate sense that the Russian Futurists' mix of the track ( tonight-remix.mp3) doesn't hold a candle to the Kleerup mix. The RF mix is purely destructive, and reduces the song to that stomping four-on-the-floor beer-garden rhythm that (as I've probably told you before) I instinctively associate with _Cabaret_'s "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", and totalitarianism in general.

    By Anonymous esque, at 6:36 PM  

  • I originally used the word "compensate" loosely, but I think we're on to something. Namely, A Rule Of Remixing: if you take something good out of the track, you are cosmically obliged to put something equally awesome back in.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 1:16 AM  

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