DJ culture has always been keen to give props to its roots. In 2016, as part of its month-long Music Academy festival, Red Bull threw an old-school rave deep in Brooklyn, featuring Frankie Bones and Adam X. There were a few Ubers parked outside, but inside the warehouse with the concrete floors, it was all fog machines, laser rays, glowsticks, and candy-flipping revelers getting their PLUR on to the wall-rattling, acid-tinged techno that put Frankie Bones and Brooklyn’s 1980s rave scene on the global map.
The flashback feeling was heightened by riding the elevated subway back to Manhattan at dawn. If you zoned out as the train rumbled through the borough and ignored the hyper-gentrification, you could almost imagine the ghost of John Travolta’s burned-out Tony Manero haunting a graffiti-spattered corner seat, daydreaming of bigger things after a raucous night at the disco. Events like RBMA’s throwback rave—as well as countless Google search results on Larry Levan, David Mancuso, and Frankie Knuckles—keep DJ culture’s sense of continuity alive.
Bootlegs, edits and remixes function in a similar way: They acknowledge influence by turning a whole new audience on to sounds that still resonate. Among the latest tributes is tech house don Carlo Lio’s rework of rave master Frankie Bones’ 1989 roof torcher “Call It Techno,” from his upcoming EP of the same name on Carl Cox’s Intec Digital. According to Bones, the remix was recreated from scratch with Coxie’s blessing.
“Carlo Lio created a fantastic remix version, which goes direct to the dancefloor,” Bones adds. “A master at his craft, Carlo knows exactly what to do to make a good song great.”
Lio’s punched-up percussive mix reaches into the core of the original’s carnival-like energy, working a slightly sinister vocal into a booming, pitched-down Detroit and underground shout-out, as moody, oscillating atmospherics and piston-like hi-hats build to a seismic drop befitting rave’s mind-blowing ambitions and EDM’s contemporary big-room demands. You can just hear Coxie dropping it peak-time in one of his sets.
In addition to the Carlo Lio mix, the five-track EP features a 2017 mix, a rework by French up-and-comer Raito, and a previously unreleased track with an accompanying instrumental. Call It Techno drops this Friday. You should definitely pick it up.
Available November 10 via Intec Digital.