I just found out there is a God: Erire be thy name!
Yes, I was overjoyed to discover that singer/songwriter Erire Obano not only provides the golden-delicious vocals for Stonebridge‘s “S.O.S.”, but also for the profoundly awesome Haji and Emanuel cover of “Take Me Away”. As you’re aware, I have pledged a blood oath in defense of both of these songs. Imagine my joy to find that they benefited from the talents of the same fair maiden!
Obano’s voice is filled with uncontained enthusiasm; her words leak warmth during the verses before giving way to a flood of pure, concentrated optimism in vocal form. She’s a knockout!
According to her bio, Obano is Nigerian-Irish. Meanwhile Seamus Haji is an Irish-Indian Londoner. Ireland is officially now the world’s coolest melting pot.
Sadly, I don’t know how to pronounce Obano’s name, so I just rhyme it with “Kyrie Eleison” like Mr. Mister. I’m sure she and her top-shelf producers can make even that song a legitimate dancefloor hit.
This time it’s a group called Blue Ray mixing together the vocals of Jimmy Somerville from Bronski Beat‘s “Why” with the famous introduction to Yazoo‘s “Situation”. They call the result “You & Me”.
The main mix alone isn’t all that great. Somerville’s repeated “You and me together fighting for our love!” only takes you so far; this isn’t much more than a mash-up. Besides, Axwell and Steve Angello took on “Why” last spring (combining it with “Small Town Boy”) to better effect.
Luckily the remixes for “You & Me” are top-notch. You already know about my love for Haji & Emanuel; awesome as always, their solution for an unremarkable track is…add more bass! And it works!
The best remix could possibly be the Kenny Hayes Blue Sphere Remix. It is hilariously over the top. Hayes ignores “Situation” and lays down the most serious trance chord progressions making it sound like your life depends on Somerville hitting his high notes. It’s a ballsy move, but then again, Bronski Beat was never a tongue-in-cheek band. Good work, Kenny!
I put off listening to the CD single for Seamus Haji‘s “Last Night” for a while. I was cautious. I knew it wasn’t a Traveling Wilburys cover—but it wasn’t much more exciting. Yet another take on Indeep‘s “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”? Haji can do much better than this!
Luckily, Haji and his partner in crime Paul Emanuel don’t disappoint! Their main mix isn’t as adventurous as their past efforts, but it’s still a tight and powerful take on this well-worn disco chestnut. And when they strip out the vocals on their dub, Haji and Emanuel really let loose.
Even the other remixes are more than up to spec. I’ve never heard of Cedric Gervais and Second Sun, but their remix starts as a pleasant thumper and builds up to an exciting finish. Funkagenda‘s smooth electro-beeps never catch fire, but are worth the listen. So tainted was this disco song in my mind that I even doubted the venerable Saint Stonebridge! I should be flogged for my disobedience. His remix for Haji and Emanuel’s “Take Me Away” paled to their main mix, but here he brings in his patented synth skills and more than meets the high standards of Seamus and Paul.
One quibble: Stonebridge provides an unwelcome accent to the speech of the life-saving DJ. After the eponymous turntablist says, “away goes trouble down the drain,” Stonebridge plays the sound of a flushing toilet.