Usually we spend a lot of time trying to find new and exciting music here at One A Day, or mine the vaults for stuff that is the basis of a lot of what you’re hearing today. But sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and realise that imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery and there are some dudes who just really know how to do it well. Belgium’s Tempogeist – which may be the coolest hybrid name I’ve heard in a while – list their influences on their homepage and indeed sound like a lot of them. With shades of Chromeo, Breakbot and Aeroplane, they’ve got the nu-disco sound down pat. Their bass is slung low and pops, their synths sparkle and generally their music makes you feel pretty good about the world. And then you have this remix, which ramps it up to Level 11 and before you know it, you’re puking sunbeams all over the dancefloor.
I have some friends, among them Frames and ROOF, who honestly get more excited by the remixes which come out with selected single/vinyl releases of artists than the songs themselves. I never really vibed on that until I saw how well certain takes on a track can meld into the mood of a mix, something I wouldn’t appreciate because I wasn’t a DJ (I tried, but we’ll never speak of that again.) This Monitor 66 edit of ‘Romeo’ ups the ante on the original and changes it from a slinky little number into a certified part-starter. It’s also relentlessly positive, kind of like Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ mixed into Supermen Lovers’ ‘Starlight’, but with this extra weirdness that comes via the vocals of collaborator Lisa Dank, who is a bit like Regina Spektor if she sang EDM. Her expressive intonation really defines this song, and the tempo boost certainly doesn’t dampen that.
A little bit of research will tell you that Monitor 66 is a Stockholm-based producer (of course) who has most of his album art focused around hot girls in bikinis running on the beach. And fair enough, really, because the insistent pulse of this version of ‘Romeo’ certainly makes it jogging playlist worthy, if not for throwing shapes on your favourite stretch of sand. It stinks to high heaven of summer, it does, what with the piano-house vibe, the offbeat hats, the submerged fade-ins and those subtle ‘whoop-whoop’ keyboard samples. I’ve heard it a million times before, sure, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Because Mr 66 has zero problems with borrowing ideas from almost any culture, subsequent repeats see South American syncopated snare drum stops and castanets clicking over the vocal to take you right into the water and dunk you properly. I feel like if The Knife woke up one morning and decided that they loved everything, they might sound like this. An excellent slice of positivity for the holiday season and beyond.
Tempogeist – ‘Romeo’ (Monitor 66 Remix)