Introductory Note: On occasion I’m going to write about records I’ll find in a store about which I have little or no knowledge. One of my favorite things about going to a record store is adding a mysterious piece of vinyl to my overflowing “cart.” I love buying the titles I intend to (or encountering ones I’ve been meaning to buy but forgot about) and also adding something that makes me wonder if that stranger among us will be worth the extra money and space.
I found AM Version’s West Coast-centric steamy and seedy For Our Love 12-inch twice. I first found it at Halcyon in DUMBO, Brooklyn, when I was looking for a New Jersey records release (Note to self: You’ll never find them unless they’re secondhand).
Most recently, I was trying to find something else in my collection when I stumbled across the record. I had completely forgotten about it, but I immediately put it on, though, because I saw that the second song is a Monty Luke remix of the title cut.
Although I found the record on a cold day in post-industrial New York City, the songs took me straight to a warm, damp and seedy basement with some dim yellow and red light in a mildly run-down house in Los Angeles. Alona and Eric Kozak (the guy behind AM Version) offer up a sultry, smoky and dirty interplay on the 12-inch’s title cut.
It’s hard to tell where these sweaty flirtations will take us, whether to love or lust, but for now all that matters is that gritty closeness of the dance over that throbbing beat and the synthesizers’ haunting minor chords. But who are we kidding: We want to know if this song is the true “late-night contact-maker” we need.
Monty’s remix follows that same vibe, but simplifies it a bit. He dirties up the hi-hat to turn the backbeat into a machinistic sort of thing, adding some thrust to the throb. Along with the teasing piano, it seems that perhaps his remix is answering the question of what the outcome of those flirtations were in the original version of “Love.”
The other side of the album still maintains the overall atmosphere of “For Our Love,” but it lets in a lot of light, and sprinkles of joy enter into the mix.
“I Called, Isn’t That Enough?” is relaxed and buzzy, deep into keeping things going but only just enough. “Labyrinths and Canals” carries on, but adds in a twinkling melodic guitar sound, seemingly welcoming dawn over the Pacific to celebrate another successful night.