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Hi-NRG synth pioneer Patrick Cowley moved away from his usual robotic steeliness on 1982’s “Primitive World,” drawing instead on the groove rock of early 1970s gay discos. It’s a percussion track influenced by Babatunde Olatunji’s 1959 hit “Jin-Go-Lo-Ba,” made more famous by Santana’s 1969 cover. Cowley updated the sound for the 1980s with electronics and drum machines but kept the playful attitude of the original. Two choirs of voices chant back and forth to each other, giving Cowley a chance to include many of his friends from the San Francisco dance music community.

This has been DJ Hifi Sean’s year, with a best-selling album with David McAlmont , countless live gigs and high-profile remixes to his name. His interpretation of Cowley’s “Primitive World” can be counted among his best, bringing an intense TB-303 acid house vibe that perfectly complements Cowley’s weird electronic blips and bleeps. The effect is a disorienting mix of psychedelic 70’s groove, 80s synth pop, and 90s tacky house vibes. “Primitive World,” is one of the brilliant standouts on Cowley’s final record, Mind Warp, the so-called “death album” written as his health was rapidly sinking. Hifi Sean’s new remixes pay tribute to Cowley’s genius while fusing the track even more strongly to dance music’s electronic future.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Hifi Sean Mix
A2. Hifi Sean Dub
B1. Original
B2. Hifi Sean Bonus Beat
B3. Acapella

DJ Moplen has outdone himself with this reimagining of Machine’s disco classic. Sticking purely to elements from the original, he’s managed to completely redesign the song, starting with an extended version of the soulful piano intro. Punching up the kick drums and handclaps moves the track into house territory, complemented by a funky guitar riff that was completely buried in the original. When the bass enters front and center Moplen practically forces you to the dancefloor, leaving you vulnerable to August Darnell’s controversial lyrics. Fresh from a career-making start with Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, lyricist/vocalist Darnell’s collaboration here with Machine was only months from his next incarnation as Kid Creole. Just like those groups, Darnell here fills his song with the politics of race, religion, and sexuality under the guise of a great beat. This release features that rarest of things: a dub just as good as the original. Rather than just removing the vocals, Moplen again rearranges the song, removing the slow intro and building a killer groove from the ground up. As well as the 1979 version, and an acapella reprise, this 12” also features the 1994 Timmy Regisford house mix that captures the dark energy of the song perfectly.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Moplen Remix
A2. Moplen Dub
B1. Original 1979 Version
B2. 1994 Timmy Regisford Remix
B3. Acapella Reprise


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