Aside from its title, the third single from Jacques Renault and Marcos Cabral's Runaway project is surprisingly devoid of the usual sonic ties to the Big Apple. No skeletal Liquid Liquid punk-funk, no wave freak-outs or sizzling electro-disco, no sneering posture or winking attitude. Just a mesmerizing, relentless two-beat tribal tom loop and a chunky, uplifting two-chord piano riff that's dubbed out for maximum bliss. While New York is nearly without parallel for artistic experimentation—especially when it comes to forward-thinking hybrids and genre-fucks—it's refreshing to actually encounter a new local dance production that eschews posture and play and simply goes for the jugular.
There's a bit of a handmade quality in "Brooklyn Club Jam" that works in its favor, a slight muddiness and lack of precise digital veneer that makes for an invigorating subterranean dance vibe, the kind that signals what side of the East River the club is on. This isn't the Manhattan of fascist door policies and bottle-service lux interiors, it's the Brooklyn of sweat-soaked warehouse free-for-alls. Then, halfway through, just when you've settled into the joys of a stripped but dreamy house groove, there's a surprise starburst of acidic 909 stabs, an inspired ace up the sleeve that propels things towards the conclusion's heady, almost abstract outer limits.
While it might seem that such a distinctive and barebones piece would be fertile ground for remix mutations, the offerings here don't have an easy time getting out from under the original. On the DFA release, Brennan Green's remix starts out a glistening cowbell-kissed straightshooter, but while it aims at cosmic lift-off halfway through, it never completely gets off the ground. For a space-disco churner it's got all the right moves, but sometimes it's exactly when you're out looking for the right moves, instead of the best moves, that you lose the thrust of the individual track you're working on, and your disco voyage winds up a bit undercooked. Meanwhile, over on the Rekids side of the Atlantic, LSB's remix fares better, but that's partly because it sets it sights lower, content to up the rhythm ante with a clean house kit that's more genial party-starter rather than the original's near-sunrise soul cleanser.
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Tracklist: Runaway - Brooklyn Club JamDFA2204
A Brooklyn Club Jam
B Brooklyn Club Jam (Brennan Green's Version)
A Brooklyn Club Jam
B Brooklyn Club Jam (LSB Baqueira Jam mix)
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