#songbender part 36 – En Vogue – Whatever (Towa Tei karaoke remix)
Well hello again, ladies and gentlemen. And here we are again, with a fantastic ride to the old times, when there were good bands and good producers to actually remix them. Those times are gone. Forever. Sorry about that, I had no part in it, at least I hope I did not.
But anyway. So there’s this SOUL or whatever these pop people call these ladies singing stuff actually fairly correctly, with all those intonations and looking like the biggest OMG I WANNA MILF THESE HOES, like, i mean, music industry, FUCK YOU, in all what you are, and this song is from 1997, NINETEEN NINETY FUCKING SEVEN, and it was clear from day one. The only thing that saves it is that whoever had these at the time, gave it to people they liked. So there were a WHOLE LOT of remixes to this track, I mean I just discovered there was a Roni Size remix to this, and ah well, it suits the time, but it’s not particularly good. Sorry, Roni. You got your love elsewhere.
But. So SOUL music as such gets a lot of love from DNB producers, because the tempo is ususally half. So a normal dnb track starts around 180. And a “soul” track, whatever that is, eh, starts with around 90 or something. So it’s quite easy to remix, you just double the tempo and let the ladies sing, right?
Well, the thing about Towa Tei is, that he’s not an ordinary fellow. He’s Japanese, which i’m sure he used to his advantage here and then, but really, this is 1997, and there was not much of a competition these days! I mean, he was in Dee Lite, if you remember that, if you don’t, then I’m sorry, you will not find much entertainment on this site, Groove Is In The Heart was their biggest hit, and by no means that was an accident, this was pure know-it-all, pop music is fairly easy if you have the money for it, and at that time, it was cookin’. So, “Whatever”, right?
yeah, so i back in those days had no idea that this Korean-Japanese guy made remixes. I have no recalling of how this track got to me. Now, when searching for it, I can not even find it! (Which, I mean, bring out the WHAT THE FUCK, INTERNET in me, but I need get used to this, as i’m too old for this shit now anyways).
Other People call it the “instrumental track” which is weird to me, because it has plenty of singing in it, but now when I look at the actual official Youtube video, I can understand: the actual youtube video has way too much singing in it. I mean, that just kills it. Sorry.
So, for the first time, i’m gonna upload the mp3 I got from whereever, I have no idea, but it was the 90s, to my site, and whoever’s gonna complain, IDGAF. This is the proper version. The over-sang youtube version you can find there, check the links above, they seem different to the regular text. I think.
And by the way, this ANYWAY sounds like 1997. I mean the samples are not great, the whole thing feels like this was done on a computer I had in 1997, which was, well, not one in existence, but anyway: it doesn’t just sound that good. But as someone who has spent the last 20 years with this song: I KNOW what he wanted to do with it. And maybe he didn’t have the means to it, just like I didn’t have it with FastTracker 2, where there was no way to even fuckin’ EQ a track, AT ALL. You just had what you had.
Ok, so I need to admit, the version I have had since 1997 is simply not up there, anywhere. It’s just not. There is a similar version, but that one has way too much singing in it, and that’s not what I need. You can check it out if you want, but that’s not the point of this whole thing. Also, there’s the original soul track if you are interested (eh, no).
No wait, I mean to check our the original is to actually discover the genius of Towa Tei. I mean, to get to that glitchy DNB from this soul track, that is some shit y’all. And I mean it. This is not a great song originally. It’s a “meh” one at best. But listen to what this guy did, this is a whole new track, goddammit, it has an arc, it has a beginning, it has an end, it has everything.
So I still like the song (the one I MEAN of course) because it takes advantage from everything, and believes that it is good enough. And being 2023, of course it sounds weird. Now it does. Now the production flaws are hearable, even to me. But I understand the effort, and this little Japanese guy did exactly what I would have done at the time, if I had had access to these samples. So I say: mr. Towa Tei, I liked you in Dee Lite, I liked you even more when I discovered that you did these remixes, so i say: kudos to you sir, this (by which i mean the one that I know!) is a great remix of a soul song, and while I can not kick myself enough to listen to the original (I just can’t, sorry, this is way to 90’s black girls singing for me), I can appreciate this.
My favorite parts are the one where there’s only a beat, finally for the first time, elaborated, and at the end, the so called “lakossági dramenbéz” which only a few can understand, basically it’s the final theme when the “hah” so-called proper dnb drumtrack starts. But that just completes this whole masterpiece.
And maybe for the first time, you are without a youtube video, but instead of an embedded mp3, who knows.
And i hope you do too.
And i will see you next time around. Maybe.
Have a nice rest of the week, y’all.