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LABEL: Club Tools RELEASE DATE: 1996 GENRE: Progressive House, Trance, Happy Hardcore
// review by Jeff

Forget chocolates and roses. Send remixes next Valentine's Day.

Scooter seemed to be loving those remix discs, and so when their newest single, "Let Me Be Your Valentine", came out in early 1996, it only stood to reason that a bunch of remixes would soon follow. But, as previous reviews have already indicated, remix discs are often sketchy, featuring second-rate tracks that do not easily relate to their source material. Hopefully, this is the diamond in the rough...

The Commander Tom Remix starts us off on a lengthy journey through wild trance featuring a heavily-vocoded sample of frontman H.P. Baxxter telling us that we're going out of control. How optimistic! The track slowly builds up over a simple trance riff, increasing its percussive vibe before adding the original's rough acid synth to serve as a more solid basis to the remix. This sure lasts for a while before a brief breakbeat bridge hits us, also offering an additional melody from the original. Overall, this remix is just that: a remix. It's not exactly the most riveting piece of music, but at least it's true to the original song. At a time when Scooter remixes were not exactly pushing in this direction, it's a breath of fresh air.

If you're looking for a remix with a terrible name, why not try Itty-Bitty-Boozy-Woozy's Blue Mega Blast on for size? Itty-Bitty-Boozy-Woozy, known under countless aliases for their cheesy German dance music, pop up early in their career for a Scooter remix, and it's actually funkier than expected. It's half-trance, half-house, and sporting a bassline that will definitely make more than a few butts shuffle on the dancefloor. It reminds me of that stadium techno from folks like The KLF, D.O.N.S., or Technotronic. With H.P. vocal snippets within, the party keeps on moving, although aside from those voice clips, there's no real connection to the original "Let Me Be Your Valentine". Does the Simon & Shahin Remix bring things back? This duo (which does include Michael Simon, who would actually join Scooter ten years later as their third member) drop their happy hardcore vibes in a fast-paced rave-worthy number, showing off some unique melodies and breakbeats. But again, aside from sparse vocal clips, it's a whole new track, and that's not quite what one expects from a remix.

This brief collection of remixes is more listenable than other compilations, but the lack of melodic connection to the actual Scooter song in two out of the three tracks is jarring. It wasn't unexpected, however; that's just the trend I'm seeing with these remix discs. If you're curious about the wacky sounds of dance music in 1996, track down this CD and see how you feel.


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