On this week’s Unsung Heroes, we take a look at the incredible Michael Woods remix of I Said, featuring the brilliant collaboration of Deadmau5 and Chris Lake. Rarely does Deadmau5 collaborate these days, but in 2010, it was apparent that fellow producer and frequent label partner Chris Lake would be a perfect candidate. Lake was a bit of an anomaly back in late 2009/early 2010. His style would fluctuate constantly, switching between burning Tribal, jacking Tech House and sophisticated Electro. Essentially, a perfect fit for the sometimes esoteric Mau5trap label. Their first collaboration, I Thought Inside Out, was grungy Electro, mixed in with the sensibilities of true Tech House, which sculpted a unique sound unlike anything else. Their next (and final) collaboration, I Said, was an unusually crafted piece in which a minimally driven track drove the weird, unusual and even bizarre, experimental sounds of the two in a bare bones cut that had insatiable groove. Michael Woods however, ferociously seized the track and gave it a no-nonsense rework, crafting the blippy track into a mighty weapon that was perfect for unsuspected dance floors. Ed note: new Soundcloud link.
Remixing this track is an understatement to what Michael Woods accomplished for his rendition. Woods took the Chris Lake Minimalistic style and injected his own take upon Minimalism with his brand of deep, Progressive House. Progressive House might mean gritty Electro and hands-in-the-air Anthems now, but in 2010, it was a completely different term altogether. The first drop consists of crisp percussion, a full, relentless repeated bassline and a simple (yet extremely effective) blippy main synth to keep things moving. Sound simple? Yes and it is this simplicity that makes the track so effective. By repeating the same musical idea with constant force and ruthless drive, it creates a groove that never stops, which translates into keeping that constant energy flowing into the dance floor. Woods smartly kept the main breakdown of the Original track with the clearly definable sounds of Deadmau5 of 2010. A key component in Woods‘s older productions was his incredible talent for buildups and this remix is no different, overflowing the energy into a true Tech masterpiece and earning a unique spot in producer individuality.
Michael Woods was a very special kind of producer back in the day. While many of his recent productions have morphed into the Progressive House styles of today, Woods was certainly an innovator in 2010. His productions were minimal and driven, creating an entire new genre in which had dance floors buzzing with anticipation. While there were other producers in that genre who also had a hand in it (Funkagenda, Paul Thomas, Jerome Isma-Ae, etc.), none had quite the individual drive that he had, (which isn’t to say those other producers were any worse off). During those days, every single of his productions were huge hits (with particular support from Pete Tong on BBC Radio One) and his deep, technical and highly intricate sets created an atmosphere of what some may call ‘sophisticated Progressive House’. By keeping things simple, Michael Woods was forced to be inventive and he forged a path into his own sound that many called the ‘Michael Woods sound’ in 2010. Michael Woods‘s remix of Deadmau5 & Chris Lake‘s I Said is now available on Ultra Records on Beatport, so head over there and collect this fantastic work today.
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).