It’s Friday, and if you’re going clubhopping over the weekend, we’d like to help. This week, we’re selecting three kind of old, kind of new dance records for you — tracks you may already be familiar with, but not necessarily in these versions. And of course, we’ve added YouTube embeds for each, to help you ID them out on the floor — as well as to hear the difference between then and now.
Carl Craig, “At Les (Christian Smith’s Hypnotica Remix)” (Planet E/Tronic)
Perhaps the most widely respected figure in dance music, Detroit native Carl Craig’s work tends not to be taken lightly by remixers. “At Les” was first released in 1993, and its warm synth line and skittering beat (closer to later broken-beat than trip-hop or jungle) make the track feel suspended in space and time. Stockholm-born, Germany-raised producer-DJ Christian Smith, who currently lives in Sao Paolo, grounds it with a crystalline four-to-the-floor track that splits the difference between trance and straight techno, teasing out the driving keyboard in a way that’s even shapelier than the original. It’s that rarest of things, a latter-day remix of an established favorite that improves it.
Cassius, “1999 (Tim Green Remix)” (Cassius)
Frenchmen Phillippe Zdar and Hubert “Boom Bass” Blanc-Francard have been behind everything from the last Phoenix album to the next Rapture one lately, but they made their name in house circles (after the mid-’90s Mo’ Wax trip-hop of La Funk Mob) by adopting the squishy house of their fellow Parisians Daft Punk to similarly effervescent ends. “1999” sounds now like a frothier blueprint for the later, more blaring approach of Justice, so it’s nice to hear the track reworked by Get Physical comer Tim Green (whose “Old Sunshine” has been a steady DJ favorite for a good while now). Green teases a section of it through the usual filters for nearly three steady-building minutes before unleashing the “Come on, baby” vocal snippet in its full pomp. The remix respects the original while sounding completely up to the minute.
Ross 154, “Until My Heart Stops . . .” (M>O>S)
Amsterdam’s Jochem Peteri is better known as Newworldaquarium, the name under which he manipulates vintage Detroit techno styles without sounding especially po-faced about it; his Feb. 5 set at Brooklyn’s Bunker during the first New York edition of the Unsound Festival is a level-headed scorcher (and available as part of the Bunker’s podcast series: number 66). Five years ago, Peteri first issued “Until My Heart Stops . . .” as Ross 154 and didn’t attract much notice, but a recent, acclaimed 12-inch repress reveal that its crinkling, chiming melody line and lunar string pads sound utterly timeless.