Saturday, June 21, 2008
'Can you Feel it" (buttocks remix)
TRACK OF THE DAY
This is one all for the DJs and closet DJs out there. I guarantee you : any dancefloor, any place. any time, any crowd ... this song is a secret 125 bpm weapon.
“Can You Feel it” was the first hit single from the Jacksons' 1980 CBS/Epic album “Triumph”, the second album over which they had artistic control. With Michael hovering just beneath the stratosphere after the success of his "Off the Wall" album the previous year, CBS/Epic went all out with a (then) expensive, elaborate 7 min. sci-fi video, in which Michael and Co. sprinkle their fans with magic gold dust, and teach them to not be scared of eclipses.
It was the first in a decade-long series of expensive MJ video fantasises where narratively, it seems to me, he seems to gain power by first scaring someone, and then saving them (Moonwalker, Thriller) - could we call him an opportunistic saviour ?
In the video, the song itself is almost buried in laser zaps, explosions and an additional faux-John Williams orchestral layer.
This wasn't to be the last time the track was buried under other sounds : Within months of its release, CBS also released the best-selling "Jane Fonda Workout Record", in which the waning Hollywood actress cashed in on the aerobics boom with a series of exercises spoken over tracks by CBS artists such as the Jacksons, the Brothers Johnson and REO Speedwagon.
"Can You Feel It" was used as the backing track for a series of mind-and-sphincter-expanding buttocks exercises, in which Fonda's cries of "Resist ... Release!" perhaps echo her earlier status as USA public enemy #1 , Vietnam resistance fighter Hanoi Jane - while perhaps "Keep it up there, keep it tight!" more reflect the 60s-style sexual submission / "free love" of her sci-fi film "Barbarella". Or as she exhorts in the cover notes : "And remember! Discipline is Liberation!"
There's nothing quite like watching a dancefloor or a party of people when the needle drops on this - they stop in their tracks, then slowly begin to try and obey Jane's various commands of buttock clenching, stretching and lifting, while still attempting to dance standing up ...
A final strange note on the song "Can You Feel It". In 2006, UK illusionist/mentalist Derren Brown used it as a "cue" on a TV program to make four hypnotised people rob a bank. I find it inexplicable that he didn't use the Fonda version - surely any good bank robbery needs a good warmup ?
Tech notes : First, I've flattened the original slow fade-in so that this can be crossfaded at the start. I've done a slight lift around 100hz to give a bit of presence back to the bass guitar and kick, which get lost in the original track as it's at the very end of the side in those narrow grooves. Finally, I've done some detailed multiband compression in order to bring out the song itself more - the original mix favoured Jane a little too heavily, and fairly crudely 'flattened' the Jacksons track. I wanted to make this work more like the "early rap" that it could be :) - so that people can attempt, for whatever reason, to dance to it."
CAN YOU FEEL IT" - The Jacksons / Jane Fonda (buttocks version)
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Other TRACKS OF THE DAY:
Aretha Franklin – “Reasons Why”
Erykah Badu / Quincy Jones – “On and On” (Summer In Sydney remix)
Marcia Hines – “You Gotta Let Go”