Guy J has been remixing his way through progressive house’s high points for a few years now, and here he brings the project to his own Lost & Found label for the first time. Two classics get the Guy J treatment here: ‘The Fade’ by AMbassador, which originally saw the light of day on Smash Trax in 1999 before being picked up by the mighty Platipus later that year; and Twice As Nice’s ‘The Overture’, which has languished as a B-side on Dutch label HS records since 1999.
‘The Fade’ was a slightly risky choice, since it has already received one of the most perfect remixes ever, Oliver Lieb’s 1999 remix for the Platipus release, which most of us probably remember best as the stunning closer of disc 1 of Dave Seaman’s first GU album. Guy J’s version is similar to Lieb’s in structure, building slowly but surely towards a long breakdown that gradually lets the distinctive melody emerge, before smashing it out the park. However, it sticks much more closely to the original’s melody, and the smoldering bass line, wicked percussion, and atmospheric buildup over the first half of the record are (unsurprisingly) pure Guy J. The overall effect is brilliant; my heart still lies with Leib’s version, to be honest, but Guy J does a great job of putting his own stamp on the track and retooling it for contemporary dance floors.
Guy J’s take on ‘Overture’ is a model of playing up what works, and playing down what doesn’t. The main hook and the bassline are left more or less intact, and these drive the hypnotic build towards the main breakdown. The slightly grating ‘rocking with’ loop from the original is wisely demoted to low in the mix, where it adds texture without remotely threatening to overwhelm things. And the original’s strongest point, those gorgeous drifting melodies and key changes, are saved for the second half of the track, where they lend the track a floating finale and a poignant outro. The end product is a remix that takes all the best elements of the original, and fashions them into a wonderfully dreamy piece of music.
People are always complaining that they don’t make them like they used to. Well, Guy J does, in a fairly literal sense. The upshot is two beautiful tracks with one foot in the past, and the other very much in the here and now. 8.5/10