Lama's "Love Is on the Rocks" is enough of a glorious, kitschy-synth heartwarmer that Serge and fellow London DJ Sophie Lloyd admit there wasn't much need to intervene, largely limiting their efforts to an extended mix and an extra club-ready low-end throb. Things get hairier on the flip, as Serge goes solo with Thai Break's "Flowers in the Rain," which goes for more of a long-form filter/dub attack, allowing dark synth-pop melodies and pleading vocals to dart in and out of echoed claps and that signature chunky '80s snare thwack. It relies on an expert use of expansion and contraction as edit guidelines: Give room to the instrumental sections to roam free, building excitement and suspense and then snap back whiplash-style into first gear with another surge of vocals and pop melody.
Santiago has professed his appreciation for the re-edit as history lesson, saying he likes "showing people where some of the modern music they play today comes from." The past few years of interest in Italo has locked into all the hybrid energies sparked by the transition that it marks from disco to house, from human to machine-powered dance. In this moment—where old styles are breaking down and the new ones haven't taken form yet—it's anybody's game, and it's possible for flashes of rare inspiration to surface.
Edits like Santiago's serve as a reminder that in any sort of sweeping historical change in art, all sorts of enticing threads and possibilities are opened up that can never be fully taken advantage of at the time, which gives plenty of room for a passionate obsessive to maneuver and polish up delightful little jewels for today's ears. It's Santiago's decisive sense of style and expert remix skills honed during his stint as a member of Radio Slave that easily set his efforts, catalogued on his own Arcobaleno label, apart from the glut of average but unremarkable edits now on the market.