Thursday, 5 September 2013

Un-Cut - Midnight (Marcus Intalex & ST Files Remix)

Un-Cut - Midnight (Marcus Intalex & ST Files Remix) (Wired Productions, 2001)

Three certainly seems to be the magic number when it comes to vocal drum and bass during this period: Un-Cut were the coming together of Manchester production duo Future Cut and singer Jenna G(ibbons). The trio first worked together on 'Borderline' from Future Cut's Bloodline EP, with Jenna G then providing vocals on both sides of their Metalheadz 12", Obsession / Tear Out My Heart. 'Midnight' was their first track as Un-Cut and was later re-released when their debut album The Un-calculated Some came out on Warner in 2003.

The original mix, while decent, was rather overshadowed by the version from Marcus Intalex & ST Files, who were absolutely smashing it with their remixes around this time - just check their reinterpretations of MJ Cole, Solid State and 4 Hero for further evidence. Like the original the remix borrows large chunks of Shirley Bassey's version of The Doors' 'Light My Fire', with the strings, guitar licks and horn stabs all coming from her 1970 cover. To this MIST add crisp two-step drums, a warm fluid bassline and keys for a lush track that epitomises the liquid funk sound. The song itself is a blinder with Jenna G's soulful vocals really capturing that feeling of joyful abandon, the desire to escape the tedium of day to day life and let the music take control:

"Cause I'm drawn by a feelin'
The night is callin' me
I'm ready to start livin'
Where music flows free"

The track was caned by everyone for ages and is an undeniable classic, recently being included in DJ Mag's Top 100 Most Important Drum & Bass Tunes list. When it was re-released in 2003 MIST provided a VIP update of their remix with grandiose strings, bongos and a sample of The Gift of Gab's "Midnight" vocal from DJ Shadow's 'Midnight In A Perfect World', although I prefer the earlier version. The Un-calculated Some album, which blended soul, jazz and mellow drum and bass, wasn't a big hit and they were quickly dropped by Warner although both Future Cut and Jenna G have carved successful careers in the music industry for themselves since.

The MIST VIP Mix appeared on Drum&BassArena's Anthology 2 compilation which is available to download here. Like Breakbeat Era and Kosheen, Un-Cut performed live but I couldn't find any videos so here's Jenna G singing 'Midnight' in 2008 at a Melbourne club with dBridge on the decks:

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