You might remember this little clip I posted a while back of Brenda Starr performing "Vicious Beat" in the 1984 movie Beat Street. It was taken from the audition scene where Brenda is entering the stage right after this band:
Singer Mic Murphy and keyboardist David Frank were known as "The System" and played ... well, not really electro, more like synth-based soul. But it was the 80s when boundaries were still a lot more permeable and it was possible to score a couple of major r&b hits and still appear in a movie about hip hop.
Fast forward to the year 2009 and we are witnessing not only a comeback of Mic Murphy but also a collaboration with none other than legendary rapper Melle Mel. All that can largely be credited to the efforts of UK based DJ and electro head Lloyd Harvey who got in contact with Murphy and convinced him to sing on a tune that fellow UK producer Diplomat had created. This tune is now released in a beautiful package with 5 incredible (re-)mixes.
The original mix by Lloyd Da Zoid and Diplomat could have been an unreleased System track, ca. 1985. This is pure electro soul bliss: The straight beat and driving bass create a reduced frame that gives the track a lot of room to breathe - which is perfectly complemented by Murphy's soulful vocals and some unobtrusive yet haunting synth tapestries:
EDMX keeps it old school as well, so does Funkmaster Ozone who is delivering his trademark West Coast influenced bounce. Sbassship's perfectly crafted piece of German engineering turns the song into a freestyle tune (with more than a hint of that 90s Euro sound). Every note, every sound and every detail is in place. The production is nothing less than flawless - lush and polished, modern and New School sounding (not in that dark & technoid New School way though):
Finally I have to give it up to Dutch funkateer Seymour Bits who might be the biggest surprise on this record. This is what The System might sound like if they were still releasing records in 2009: cutting-edge, but with a lot of mainstream crossover potential. The remix is huge in a literal way: a wall of sound, compressed and pumping and quite reminiscent of the contemporary French style (think Daft Punk, Justice, DJ Mehdi). With its 4-to-the-floor bass drum it might even pass for house, albeit a mean and funky version of it. Equipped with a dirty bass and at a slow pace, it is irresistibly crawling - or better yet steamrolling towards you:
Get the limited edition 12" vinyl directly from the electro avenue homepage:
A digital release is set to follow later this month.