I Promised Myself – Anatomy of a Remix

First, the original. Part Hi NRG, part early Euro Vocal House, part Stock Aitken and Waterman, you can tell it’s got that House influence but it’s too early (this was produced in 1989) to really be modern Trance / House.

Cue 14 years later and the 2004 official remix. Lying somewhere between Classic and Progressive Trance and at times, if you let it, it could convince you it was Euphoric Prog House. You can instantly understand the trance potential that this song had a decade and a half earlier. The original wasn’t anywhere near my flightcases, but I could fill a floor with the chorus in this towards the end of a set. The sequence up to 2’10” and then beyond is pure Anthemic Prog heaven. I used to mix this into the Transa Remix of Art of Trance’s Madagascar and it worked beautifully as the calm before the storm transiting a set into full blown trance.

And then we have this. Bllllhhhhhhhhh. The A-Teens version is a Happy House / JPop monstrosity with shades of Nu Italo Disco. It’s like they took the half-decent original and converted it into a Tweenie-friendly love child of the Gummibears. Everything about it screams out “recorded in half a day by people who didn’t care since they were on a conveyer-belt of pure saccharine”. This is the evolutionary dead-end branch of this song. I apologise for even letting you listen to it once.

As a contrast, you might not like the Basshunter version of the track, but you can easily understand how it is the ultimate destination of the original. Abandoning the EuroTrance of the 2004 remix, Basshunter have gone German Trance with even a hint of Hard Acid. Resist the temptation though to label this EuroDance – it’s not and never will be.

There you have it, the evolutionary tree of a song.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this and this might begin to help. Normal service resumes tomorrow.

4 Comments on “I Promised Myself – Anatomy of a Remix

  1. I'm not going to comment on this as, having reached the age of 50 years, I have no idea what 'trance' is, other than some kind of music that is played in clubs. I've also learnt that it's unwise to talk about things you know nothing about, like the differences between 'jungle', 'trance' and 'house'.

    My teenage daughters are of course very up with these things, and it is to them that I go for advice about these sort of things on the rare occasions that I need it. I have a long running joke with them as well. While we're in the car together, I'll sometimes say 'This is trance music, right'? while something like Country & Western or Heavy Metal is playing!

      • There are compensations to being older. Given the tendency of music now to sample everything up to and including (no doubt) 'Three Blind Mice', you will have an exquisite revenge in around ten years time! When your newly 'cool' teenager is watching the latest dance floor hit, no doubt in holographic vision by then, you can blurt out: 'This isn't new! It was first done as ('Love Train' by the O'Jays in 1973/'Jumping Jack Flash' by the Rolling Stones in 1968/insert as appropriate). In the case of my teenage daughters, I then go on to tell them the highest position that the original version reached in the UK charts. I'm a bit of a nerd for these sort of things! :-)

  2. Very interesting, Peter, not only comparing versions of the piece but marking an evolution. I've found comparing different versions of the same piece to be very helpful in developing an awareness of what's happening in music, and acquiring the ear to hear the various elements which compose a musical piece. Though I have never taken to house and probably never will – my neighbour being a house DJ, and the walls being thin. I must add – he's quite talented, does some very interesting things and tends to stay away from the more commercial-sounding stuff (as this piece sounds to me), conducts some interesting experiments with time signature, melodic development – but all with a very jarring and heavy beat that makes one consider climbing the walls.

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