||DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: MATT ALBER'S MISSING IS MISSING NOTHING
by Marc “Moose” Moder
This article shared 1563 times since Wed Aug 17, 2011
Most songs come and go in and out of your life and your ears, but some linger; some become legendary in your heart. When I moved away from St. Louis to Chicago in the '90s, leaving my friends and family, this became not only legendary, but my all-time favorite song.
Everything But the Girl originally recorded "Missing" for their Amplified Heart CD, a transitional album away from their "Sunday Brunch" sound of the late '80s/early '90s and into a more contemporary, but still soft, sound. It debuted to little fanfare, except to their die-hard fans like me who'd bought their eight previous albums and loved every one. From the Smiths-like sound of the first two, to the Swing Out Sister vibe of the middle period, to their minor hit "Driving," a VH-1/soft jazz staple, I'd loved every one of their eras. Now it seems they were trying to get a bit serious without trying to seem to young. It didn't work. Until Todd Terry remixed the single for "Missing."
After the remix hit the club, it hit the radio and hit the world. Going #1 in Germany and #2 in the US, it would be their biggest hit and be remixed and remade many times over the years ( most recently by Fedde LeGrand ) . EBTG went on to embrace this sound with the heavily electronic two following CDs, and Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn's solo careers which have been primarily house and electronic, respectively.
Forward 15 years and DJ Saul Ruiz meets classically trained vocalist Matt Alber. Alber, hot on the heals of hit album Hide Nothing ( due to the single End Of The World ) , was riding high and prepping for his new CD when Ruiz walked in with an idea to cover "Missing," followed by a proposed EP of other covers in the dance vein. Unlike Ben and Tracey's version, Saul's version is recorded as a dance track, forcing Matt to record it as such, unlike EBTG's which was remixed later. And the result is no less beautiful. Saul's version, which takes the Todd Terry approach of "less is more and sexy is best," caresses Matt's silky vocals, but never overtakes. Matt's appoach is not trying to be Tracey Thorn but to be Matt in his signature seductive manner, without ever sounding too morose for the dancefloor. That is until his otherworldly wail before and after the bridge like a ghost in the night. Nice touch.
The EP, out now, contains four remixes, the best of which is Hector Fonseca's soaring and epic remix and Saul's own Peak Hour Mix. Saul told me earlier today he and Matt are currently working on doing a few more covers for a planned EP. Next on the list, Fleetwood Mac's legendary "Dreams." Are they stalking my Best Of All Time playlist or what?!
Come check Moose's grooves at new gigs at Downtown Bar, Hydrate and The Glenwood this summer.
This article shared 1563 times since Wed Aug 17, 2011
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