Some call him ‘the wizard’; Noel Gallagher says he’s a genius; some of his devoted YouTube fanbase even call him ‘God’! By taking remixing and audio editing to new heights, The Reflex has captured the world’s attention and built an impressive army of fans along the way, Barack Obama and legendary ‘Thriller’ and ‘Rock With You’ songwriter Rod Temperton included.
More than an edit, it’s The Reflex Revision: a motto that describes accurately the expert craftsmanship involved in turning stems into brand new, fresh sounding versions. With privileged access to original multitracks, a unique attention to detail and mixing skills to make vintage recordings sound like no other, The Reflex extracts the funkiest elements and puts the musicality to the fore while building his own groove in a way that only he can. While some are remixing from the outside in, layering house beats over disco classics, The Reflex does it the hard way, combining creativity and functionality with results that are often nothing short of spectacular.
Most recently The Reflex lent his edit skills to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds latest release Blue Moon Rising. So to celebrate the release, he’s put together a list of 10 remixes that have inspired him throughout his career. Enjoy.
Bjork ‘Alarm Call’ (Alan Braxe & Benjamin Diamond Remix)
They probably wanted a Stardust soundalike when they commissioned this remix but only got Alan Braxe & Benjamin Diamond, not Thomas Bangalter. However, this a great mix, a simple but tough breakbeat, snippets of vocals until the bass line comes in and we’re off!
Stereolab – Contranatura (Kid Loco Remix)
Always had a soft spot for Stereolab so was kinda cool to end up having my studio at their drummer’s Andy years later. Before that, I often played that remix (skipping the intro) in warm up sets. A good example of a non-house / dance remix that showed me that not every single mix needed to be a peak time one, you could be as creative and interesting with some downtempo material.
Rahsaan Patterson – Where You Are (Silk’s Deep House Mix)
There’s several mixes by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley on the 12” of this classic Rahsaan tune, that’s my fave mix which I played to death back in the day and one that inspired me throughout the years. A sparse instrumentation, Rhodes chords and some looped vocals that work a treat.
Mick Jagger – Sweet Thing (Mick’s Mix)
Remixed by Sir Mick himself, one his greatest songs and a raw, ballsy mix done the old school way driven by a thunderous bass line; a good example of extending the groove of a song for the DJ’s without going the vulgar ‘housed up’ route.
Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper (12” Mix / Steven Stanley Mix)
Often wrongly credited to Larry Levan I believe, but actually the work of engineer Steven Stanley, has several elements of the template I’ve been using in my own remixes ever since.
Moloko – Forever More (FKEK Mix)
Joining forces on this mix, François Kevorkian and Eric Kupper delivered a superb version of this great Moloko song, again lots of space, quite minimal, simple but not simplistic. Also reminds me of a dear friend who took his own like 18 years ago in London, one of the last tracks I remember playing him before his passing.
Incognito – Get Into My Groove (Jazzanova Remix)
In the late 90’s Jazzanova were bossing the remix world big time, and here is an example of their sound and what they could do. Super tight and funky, lots of space, and a rebuild of the song that takes it to a whole new level, which you like to hear in a good remix.
Primal Scream – Loaded (Andrew Weatherall Mix)
Another great example of a non ‘peaktime’ remix that became a classic, and a great example of a creative rework where the original material was used in a way that was unexpected. RIP Andrew Weatherall.
The Jacksons – Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) (John Luongo Mix)
Quincy Jones said that this John Luongo mix with added live percussions (a trademark of John’s mixes) was a huge influence on the work he did for Michael’s solo work so I guess we have to thank John Luongo for coming up with these ideas in the first place!
A-HA – Hunting High & Low (Extended Mix)
NOT because of the remix – it’s not very good – but my first encounter with a 12” extended mix when I was 11 years old. I was quite puzzled by the whole thing, as this mix starts by the bridge / end of the song before cutting back abruptly to the first verse. Even at that young age I thought something wasn’t quite right, as you can actually hear the edit at 2min 16s! A classic pop song, though.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Blue Moon Rising (The Reflex Revision) is out now