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This remix of the title track of French house musician Kavinsky’s recent Nightcall EP sounds like a cross between the Hi-NRG dance pop that the production team of Stock Aitken Waterman cooked up in the late 1980s and the theme from The X-Files.
In its original configuration, “Nightcall” is a mid-tempo synth-pop number somewhere in the neighborhood of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” The lead vocal is handled by Lovefoxxx from CSS, who trades vocals with a heavily vocoderized Kavinsky throughout the song. It plays like a seduction scene between a sweet and naïve girl and a seedy sort who may be up to no good.
Remix artist Robotaki amps up the beats and layers the song in synth effects, recalling Stock Aitken Waterman-helmed hits for the likes of Dead or Alive or Bananarama. He also removes Kavinsky’s processed voice entirely from the proceedings, turning the song into a one-sided conversation between Lovefoxxx and a whistling synth line. Without the male vocal counterpoint, Lovefoxxx’s vocal takes on a more wistful tone, and when the song breaks into a ‘70s style synthesizer solo at the midpoint the whole thing becomes an exercise in disco euphoria.
Remixes sometimes can feel like pointless exercises to pump up a single to EP length, but that’s not the case with “Nightcall.” Robotaki takes a strong original song and transforms it into its completely different, but equally strong, Hi-NRG looking glass reflection.