Abe Duque feat. Blake Baxter: What Happened?
Process Recordings

If What Happened? is any indication, Abe Duque and Blake Baxter clearly have a bone to pick with, well, pretty much everybody and everything in the dance music business—or at least they did five years ago when the cut first tore up dancefloors in 2004. Apparently disgusted by what they deemed the paint-by-numbers state of the prevailing techno and house scenes, Duque and Baxter responded by channeling their vitriol into a steamy slice of wax that proved so memorable it warranted a revisit.

In the original mix, Duque stokes a skeletal house bump into a raw and snappy broil with a booty bass pulse, while Baxter first sets the scene (“Remember back in the day / The underground was truly the underground / People weren't tryin' to make hits / People were about it / No name droppin,' it was just straight-up underground club hoppin'”) before calling out once-legendary locales (Paladium, SONAR) and genres (acid, techno, drum'n'bass) as guilty parties (for the record, it must be noted that there's some small degree of irony in play when the track itself fits fairly snugly within the scenes and genres targeted). Along for the ride, remixer Marc Romboy's “retro re-rub” then tweaks the tune into a swizzling and occasionally fidgety barn-burner without altering Baxter's bitchin' and moanin'; Max Cooper, on the other hand, splinters Baxter's vocal into incoherent shards while holding things together with a lithe tech-house rhythm attack.

December 2009