The definition of the edit has become quite loose since the days of Tom Moulton‘s much sought-after disco mixes. For some artists it makes up the majority of their output, others, just something to share with friends and peers. The edit game itself can also prove to be a proverbial minefield. Unaurthorised rerubs often deny the original artist the chance to profit from their work being repurposed and the threat of being labeled as a plagiariser is always looming just around the corner. Respectfully done, however, it can serve as an introduction to obscure music you may have never heard otherwise and give long-forgotten sounds a second lease of life. It also has the potential to transform tracks bordering on unlistenable into absolute gems.
If you make a habit of digging for obscure dance records, you’re guaranteed to stumble across the odd track that has all the makings of a great find, if it wasn’t for that cheesy vocal. Or maybe it’s a certain sequence that doesn’t last quite long enough for your liking. Either way, it can prove mightily frustrating. Well, that’s exactly where the edit comes in, cherrypicking the choice elements and casting any undesirable parts aside; stretching out certain sequences for added dancefloor impact and cleaning things up where deemed necessary.
In order to truly appreciate a good edit though, we feel you should be aware of its origin, and with that in mind we welcome you to the Cutting Room Floor. It’s here that we’ll explore original songs that have been dismantled and dismembered by some of our favourite artists for the purpose of the edit, kicking things off with efforts from Japan’s Mori Ra and Public Possession stalwart, Bell Towers;
Mori Ra & ASN – ‘Just Another Story’ = Gustav Rabe – ‘Just A Story’
The Macadam Mambo back catalogue is a vinyl-only treasure trove of edits, with Mori Ra contributing to some of the label’s finest moments to date. Two of these came alongside the previously unheard of ASN when they contributed to the lauded Balearico Cosmico Editsu 12″ – the A2 contribution ‘Just Another Story’ taking apart a rare slice of German jazz-funk fusion from 1984, originally unearthed by Growing Bin Records boss, Basso.
Mori-Ra – ‘Tsuru-Kame Hinadisco’ = Kazumi Watanabe – ‘Tsuru-Kame Hinatango’
This one’s lifted from the Osaka-based producer’s other Macadam Mambo appearance. A solo effort taken from the Sleeping Industry EP, ‘Tsuru-Kame Hinadisco’ polishes up Kazumi-Watanabe‘s tropical jazz fusion cut, leaving all the velvety saxophone and twinkling guitar in place, but backing it up with a low-slung balearic groove.
Edit [B2 contribution at 4:30]:
Bell Towers – ‘My Love’ = Umo Vogue – ‘Just My Love’
Motorik sleaze fest incoming from an Aussie now residing in London. Bell Towers is the man, taking on a track from British synth pop outfit, Umo Vogue. A nip-tuck and facelift sort of edit, the Melbourne native puts the scalpel to the weird xylophone melodies and epic strings, while accentuating some of the more desirable elements – most notably those shimmering synth stabs and slamming 80s drums.
Public Possession have just given the Büro-Hahn Edits 12″ a much needed repress, but act fast because demand is high.
Bell Towers – ‘I’m Obsessed With You’ = Nadia Cassani – ‘Obsessed’
Stripping Nadia Cassani‘s captivating Hi-NRG workout down to the necessary components, Rohan Bell-Towers is right at the peak of his editing powers on this one. The arrangement is slowed to a chug, with Nadia’s original vocal dissected and pushed through a vocoder to achieve that alluring robotic hook. Originally buried deep at the back of the mix, Rohan drags the rolling toms forward until they are front and centre, replacing the thudding kick drums as the anchor and main source of momentum. The ethereal synth washes lingering below the surface are also accentuated to excellent effect.