'Sexual Healing' Remixes
“[Sexual Healing is] so good… if not better than the original then at least on a par. There, we said it.” – METRO
“Joyous brass cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” – ESQUIRE | “Visceral and funky” – THE SUNDAY TIMES
“A New Orleans flavoured party” – CLASH | “A bracing, uplifting experience” – THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
On 11th December, Tru Thoughts release the first ever set of official remixes for Hot 8 Brass Band’s iconic “Sexual Healing” cover. This stone-cold classic - originally released on vinyl on the back of a club play (in a Quantic DJ set) that sparked an unprecedented round of applause on the dancefloor - has been a fixture in radio, club and festival sets for a decade and only continues to grow in popularity.
Featuring new reworks from Ibibio Sound Machine, Maddslinky (AKA Zed Bias), Werkha, J-Felix and more (plus Hot 8’s Original Edit and new 20th Anniversary Version), this diverse package sees the New Orleans greats topping their 20th year on an excitingly fresh note. October’s acclaimed ‘Vicennial’ LP and a sell-out UK/Ireland tour (26 Oct-10 Nov), have gained heavy and continuing support from The Sunday Times, Independent On Sunday, Songlines, Metro and more, to add to heavy radio play, official Jazz FM Playlisting and an upcoming BBC 6Music Session for Craig Charles (7 Nov). With the band on the form of their lives, rocking packed venues with the sort of visceral, body-shaking live performance that only they can give, these eclectic new remixes will see their inimitable energy spreading ever further, crossing even more genre lines and reaching into every corner of club-land as 2015 rolls into 2016 and beyond.
“All of us at Ibibio HQ were super-honoured to be remixing such a joyous piece of music”, says Max Grunhard of Ibibio Sound Machine; “I love this track from way back, and I'm a horn player myself so getting involved with this one was a no-brainer for me.” On their remix, the much-feted Nigerian-British band lay on a luxuriant party vibe, pairing the brassy magic of Hot 8’s version with an atmospheric, percussion-heavy beat and far-out, Afro-meets-yacht-rock electric guitar.
The universal reverence for this track is further emphasised by Maddslinky man Dave Jones, who admits that he was “excited and a bit scared” at the prospect of remixing it. “Hot 8 Brass Band’s version of “Sexual Healing” is one of my favourite tunes!” he elaborates. Here he turns in a creeping dancefloor epic, merging his house and garage leanings with the pristine touch that has earned him a long-standing reputation as one of the world’s finest producers; “I wanted to take it into a dubby, electronic space, without losing any of the soul of the original which is a timeless belter.”
On this bundle some incredible new cuts also come from the Tru Thoughts roster, which was abuzz with the challenge of remixing their legendary label-mates. “Hot 8 are 100% genuine and inspiring”, says J-Felix, who has recently had remixes supported by the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs and Nemone, and here brings a funky disco makeover. Fusing inspirations from the Hot 8 version (in his words “one of the most brilliant and joyful covers of any tune ever”) with the soul of Gaye’s original, and also influenced by Andrew Weatherall’s renowned remix work, he crafts an extended, morphing bubbler. An inventive broken/funky house take comes from Werkha, who has been heavily supported by Gilles Peterson, Lauren Laverne, Monki (BBC R1) and more; his modern reflections on jazzy electronica, with evocative guitar and cello and skittish beats, rub up against the vocals of the original for a playful yet seriously floor-filling result. Australia-based Jonny Faith has loved Hot 8’s “Sexual Healing” since hearing it as the first dance at a friend’s wedding (“Not your usual slow dance for this couple - it got pretty raucous on the dancefloor after they kicked off with that!”). Here he hits on a dancehall version, the strident horns and drum fills lending themselves eagerly to the bass-heavy beat and dub-laden production. Wrapping things up in romantic style are New York’s Space Captain, a young outfit for whom Hot 8 are heroes since singer Maralisa Simmonds-Cook spent childhood holidays watching them at New Orleans Jazz Fest. Their slow, reggae slanted spin adds swirling layers of extra vocals. “I was immediately drawn to the chorus of voices and the thick layering of horns”, Simmons-Cook enthuses; “I wanted to approach the vocals as an additional voice in the choir as opposed to a solo voice. After listening to the Hot 8 as a fan for years, it felt so good to be singing along with them.”