Once a month, I trek up to the northern tip of Greenpoint, Brooklyn to take in my bud Ron Like Hell's always enlightening sets at the bar Achilles Heel. Honestly, I could easily populate this section with songs I've discovered through those nights but the tracks only tell part of the story. What make these sets such joys is how each five-hour session feels like a trek through Ron's encyclopedic knowledge of music while never staying in one area too long, jumping from industrial to disco to EBM to this absolute face melter from the Body & Soul heydays.
When I first started getting into dance music and buying records, it was almost impossible not to get your hands on a Francois K-produced or -remixed record. And while his discography is a mighty treasure trove that doubles as a living history of the past three decades of dance music trends, it can feel a bit impenetrable at times considering that he currently has 787 remixes to his name up on Discogs. He may not bring his A game to every commission, but when he does, well, magic happens thanks to his deft deployment of dubwise bass pressure and space. As Ron once succinctly put it to me: "There's a reason he's the only person to ever remix Kraftwerk."
Chances are that if you're under the age of thirty, you have no idea who Mulu was. I certainly didn't. Comprised of Laura Campbell and Alan Edmunds, they were a trip-hop-adjacent pop group who released an LP and three singles on the UK indie label Dedicated, home to Spacemen 3 and later Spiritualized, in 1997 and then disappeared into the electronic ether. "Pussycat" was their second single and is a catchy if not dated slice of late 90s sample-based pop music, but the vocal sounds like it was made to be affixed over a house music template and Francois does so with the utmost class on his shimmering remix and the much darker and textural dub version. Where the vocal remix is based around a bouncing and thick-as-molasses bassline that werks it like its life depended upon it, the low-end doesn't rare its head until a solid five minutes into the dub as the producer layers granulated and harmonically descending synth sheets atop one another to create a tremulous environ in which dancers can endlessly lose themselves. By the time the bass does hit along with Campbell's soaring, echoing vocals, we're truly in the territory of mind-body parallelism, the heart giving the brain something to chew. Also, is it just me or does this sound like the blueprint for Carl Craig's remix of Theo Parrish's glorious "Falling Up?"