Abe Duque and Blake Baxter: Let's Take It Back
Process Recordings

The closing cut on Abe Duque's Don't Be So Mean full-length, “Let's Take It Back” digs into its electrified house groove with a little help from Blake Baxter whose lines ( “I wanna go back I heard'em say / I wanna go back like back in the day /… Like what we used to play when techno had a groove / When house made you move”) get the track churning even more forcefully, after which a mid-song breakdown clears a path for silken synthetic strings to chime before a futurama coda takes hold. Listening to the material, one would never know that Duque temporarily abandoned the music business near the end of the ‘90s for a gig as a carpenter / finisher, before gambling on music one more time—a move that, nine years later, appears to have paid off.

As fine as Duque's original is, however, it's trumped by Joey Beltram's remix which serves up six storming minutes of electro-house fever, with Beltram adding a layer of distortion to Baxter's voice and cranking the original's groove into a hornet's nest. Not surprisingly, the intensity drops a notch or two in King Roc's makeover but the change isn't unwelcome. Multiplying Baxter's vocal until it becomes an intoxicating chant, King Roc's deeply grooving treatment brings the track's funky and tribal dimensions into sharper relief. (The EP also includes a “Radio Edit” version of the original which, needless to say, is largely superfluous.)

November 2009