TF14: The Devil in the Freak by marc fleury
Le Freak, Chic, 1978
The Devil in Us, Black Devil Disco, 2006
The Freak doesn’t need any introduction. Classic, classic disco. And like I am fond of saying if it needs an introduction, get the hell out of here.
Dancing to the Freak has got to be one of my earliest club memories. I was 16, in Spain, in the Baleric islands in 1985 and dancing like a freak monkey full of hormones on the speakers at 5AM. This was pre the 1988 Ibiza summer of love, but to me it was Space. Sorry, as I quickly approach 40 I reminisce and get nostalgic. I remember how annoying it was when 40 year old would talk about “woodstock” and how we hadn’t done shit since then.
Anyway. Freak is a stand out track and it lends itself to easy remixing due to early use of drum boxes and a easy 8A Key. Of course the original clocks slow, what didn’t in these days. But it sustains acceleration pretty well. Interestingly the Devil clocks at 126 and feels slow, but since le Freak is warped up the result feels speedy (clocks at 125 in the remix). You will see, if you have an ear for that.
The Devil in Us is a FANTASTIC dark electro track. I first caught a glimpse of it on the game GTA4 on PS3. Francois K the legendary US DJ (from Paris originally) has a radio station in the game and this track immediately stood out. Francois K must be approaching 55. I saw him in Detroit in 03 and at 4AM he was destroying my ears, way too hardcore. It was disappointing because Francois K is an eclectic listener and loves melody, but I guess this was Detroit (DEMF 03) and he was trying to impress the locals.
Lately Francois K has taken to promoting French talent he likes and “Black Disco Devil” seems to be one of his Parisian proteges. The track is dark and dirty but very melodious.
There is actually version of “The Devil in Us” in french, that I also like very much, called the “Extreme Technique Remix” where the guys speak french and it gives another dimension to the track, “je ne sais pas, je ne sais plus”. I would have loved to mix that. However that track was too busy for the remix, where the Freak is really both dominating and sparse, so you want to invade that space, isolating the voice and high-hats but not overly. When someone welcomes you in their house you don’t want to abuse.
In any case, the final track is very effortless in the sound. More interestingly the structure matches almost out of the box. You will notice the lack of heavy remixing on the structure. Except for intro and outro, for DJ’ing purposes, I really haven’t messed with this much (except for EQ/Flange of course).
Then I was caught by surprise by the last minute, where the Freak chorus matches perfectly with the Devil’s chorus of “yo, hee he ho hee ye ah yo yo!”... anyway you will see what I mean when you hear it, it composes the last minute of the track, as I strech it out. The original chorus is what caught my ear while driving around GTA4.
Enjoy, I consider it one of my better works lately.