At the beginning of the year, notable house/techno producer, Black Catalogue label head and former Mike Simonetti collaborator Monty Luke announced he was holding his annual sell-off of hundreds of records on Discogs.
The only records I’d ever bought from Monty were those from his Detroit-based label, so I decided to check out his collection. It’s monstrous and awesome — an ocean of compelling cuts from a variety of dance genres.
I decided I’d do with Monty what I often do at local record stores: Just pick a couple things I don’t recognize and hope for the best. Among those was a white-label promo version of the “Artful Dodger Vocal Remix” of Soulsearcher’s “Do It To Me Again,” a great version from the UK garage greats Artful Dodger that I’ve already played about 12 times since I got it in the mail about two weeks ago.
Thea Austin, formerly of Snap!, fronts the track, which was released in November 1999, according to Discogs. Her vocals are as perfect for the cut as they were for so many other songs, including her biggest hit with Snap!, “Rhythm Is A Dancer,” and Soulsearcher’s biggest song, the dance-floor classic “Can’t Get Enough,” released on Defected Records.
I prefer Artful Dodger’s mix to producer Marc Pomeroy’s original track, which in many ways was a near-facsimile of “Enough.” Pomeroy didn’t seem to want to fuck with the formula — after all, “Enough” was an international club hit and soon became a classic, although no doubt fans and the record label alike also wanted him to do “it” to them again — but the beauty of being a remixer is that deconstruction and reinterpretation is a reason for existence.
Artful Dodger takes “Do It To Me Again” to a more percussive, streamlined place that grooves along smoothly with a lot of class. There’s something about taking a vocal house cut and turning it into UK garage that makes the song seem timeless.
Listening to the original is good way to call up some nostalgia, but spinning Dodger’s version — with its minimal arrangement, ramshackle percussion stabs, and scattered vocal cut-ups — sounds like the past, present, and future mixed up in a single, potent cocktail. It’s a very rewarding experience.
The B-side of the 12-inch features Artful Dodger’s “Vocal Dub” mix of “Do It” and London Connection’s remix of “Enough,” both equally great remixes.