It has to be the sign of a good song that so many people wish to cover it. But perhaps it says even more about the song-writing if that song is robust enough to stand up to constant reinvention, that other artists are able to take the core elements and re-mix, re-invent, re-imagine and come out the other side of the process with something which both pays tribute to the original and is able to explore new sonic territory.
Mystery, by the ever elusive, ever changing icon of the EDM underground made good K-391, is just such a song. Originally a stand-alone single featuring the vocal talents of none other than Wyclef Jean, which in its two year life-span to date has re-emerged in guises ranging from minimalist dream-dance to high-octane techno-fuelled beats. Some might argue that merely remixing someone else’s work ranks lower down on the creative spectrum than writing your own music from scratch. But I would argue that technology now means that classic songs are able to have new, ever-evolving lives, sonic chameleons, constantly up with the zeitgeist, always familiar yet always fresh and it takes a skilled hand to be able to make that happen.
And that is exactly where we find Soundcup’s remix of this club classic. It is, in many ways, a fairly faithful tribute to the original, but instead of the island rhythms which drive the verses, the spacious and groovesome, almost reggaeton vibes, here those fluid flows take on a more exacting, more precise, dance attitude whilst still replicating their structure and strength within the song.
Dynamically, we are still taken on a similar journey as we were in the original, from subtle lows and spacious melodies right up to sky-scraping crescendos and impressive vocal heights, and perhaps because of the choice of the sonics used to create the musical middle ground, this range seems even more impressive, the music spectrum even wider than the first time out.
It is safe to say that Soundcup walks a fine line between so many sonic considerations and does so brilliantly. Sure-footedly wandering between remaining faithful and exploring new ground, between the pop-fuelled grooves and the electronic dance power, deftly stepping between what has gone before and where to go to next, like a clubland Pied Piper leading people on a beguiling dance through new acoustic realms.
As I said earlier, there is an art to producing the perfect remix, to taking something familiar and breathing new potential and new possibility into it. There is an old adage which says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean that you can add additional poise, power and polish to it. And Soundcup’s take on Mystery is all the proof that you need of that truth.