Whenever I discover someone whose making a lot of tunes or remixes that I really like, something happens to me. At some point, I decide to start trawling through their archive – something often made quite easy by resources like Discogs.
I first encountered Danny J Lewis back in 1998. I was sick with pneumonia at the time, and I was under doctors orders to stay away from school for two weeks. During that period, I spent a lot of time watching MTV – and “Spend The Night” was being played quite regularly. I hadn’t heard it before, and I quite liked it.
Some years ago, I went through the Danny J Lewis archive to see what else was in it. And judging by what I found, Lewis should be up there with the likes of Kerri Chandler – such is his dedication to creating music with its own character and a point blank refusal to bend that.
One remix of his I particularly liked was his 1996 take on Victor Simonelli, under his NY’s Finest alias, of “Do You Feel Me”. The original is filled with unmistakable, infectious and cheerful piano – and still bears up today. So what did Lewis do with it?
Well, that kick is a lot harder than I remember it, for starters! Aside from that, Lewis took the very brave decision to ditch the piano that made the original track what it was. And doing that had the potential to turn this remix into an absolute turd.
But it didn’t. Instead, Lewis inserted a little of his own piano, changed the bassline for something more bouncy and used the vocal snippets to create a more euphoric, hypnotic sort of track. And in the 25 years since this remix came out, I’ve yet to hear a better one…