Thursday, 30 April 2009

MP3 of the Week - The Human Beinz: "Nobody But Me (Pilooski Edit)"

I really ought to have made this an mp3 of the week ages ago.

Remixes (and more recently, re-edits) of classic tunes are very often little more than exercises in gilding the lily. Of course, there are a few instances where such overhauls aren't completely superfluous, even if they never come close to supplanting the original, but it's still pretty rare to find a remix which enhances the source material to such an extent that the end product is better.

Pilooski's re-edit of 'Nobody But Me', the Human Beinz' 1967 cover of the old Isley Brothers tune, is a few years old now. Released on a white label in 2006 as part of the D.I.R.T.Y Sound System's essential 'Dark and Lovely' edits series, its limited availability makes it a fiendishly tough catch nowadays, even on the 'Dirty Edits Vol. 1' compilation (which wasn't much easier to get hold of either). For me, though, it's the best single of the noughties by miles, and one of the best remixes I've ever heard - it doesn't compromise the integrity of the original one bit, and actually manages to improve on it. Pilooski twists, warps and stretches the song into a snarling, swaggering, relentless beast of a tune, wrenching it from its freakbeat roots (check the YouTube clip above) and turning it into something closer to Neu!'s 'Hallogallo' on crystal meth - all juddering, motorik pulse and dubbed-out space-rock noise. I'm a fairly clean-living soul these days, yet whenever I listen to this, I'm overwhelmed with the urge to take drugs. Lots of them. In fact, on one occasion when I played it out in public, a young woman came over to the decks and, with a somewhat horrified expression on her face, said; "Can you please take off this fucking awful drug music?" The sort of ringing endorsement that's worth aspiring to.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a proper rock'n'roll record, and precisely the kind of thing modern rock bands should be using as a jump-off point. Those who refuse, or can't hack it, or who'd simply rather carry on pretending they're Joy Division, should have their instruments forcibly taken away from them and they should be made to work in some other field of endeavour, preferably one where being suffocatingly average is the minimum requirement, and is less likely to produce a blight on the cultural landscape.

The Human Beinz: Nobody But Me (Pilooski Edit) (Dark and Lovely Vol.3, 2006)

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