Remixing a tune for the dancefloor is a challenge but doing an edit of the same tune can be an even bigger challenge. Remixers usually have the benefit of working with master tapes and being able to mix in or out as much of what’s in the grooves as they wish. Someone doing an edit must primarily stick to what’s on the record itself: there are ample opportunities to “rewrite” the record by changing its structure or adding new intros/outros/breaks but doing it right involves the kind of strategy that requires a good deal of aesthetic smarts.
That said, there are plenty of talented d.j.’s who can rise to the demands of creating a good edit. One of the masters of the form is Danny Krivit, an old-school d.j. who remains in demand around the world (both in the d.j. booth and the recording studio) for his skills. He’s been doing edits since the 1980’s and many a fan of modern dance sounds have grown up on his interpretations of classic disco, soul and funk tracks.
As the title suggests, Edits By Mr. K – Vol. 2 is a followup to a popular 2003 comp that collected some of Krivit’s best work. This new edition follows the same mandate as its predecessor, offering edits that reconfigure classic sounds from a modern perspective. The first cut offers the listener a good introduction to Krivit’s approach: he takes the early Patrice Rushen cut “Music Of The Earth” and re-edits it into a double-length version that is more suited to dancefloor needs. That said, his work never calls attention to itself with flashy beat-chopping or any modern affectations. Instead, the segues and restructured elements are smoothly blended together to give it a pleasingly natural feel.
Krivit can be adventurous with his source material but he’s careful to do in a way that is respectful to the original version: for example, Fatback’s “Spanish Hustle” has its slow buildup intro removed and replaced with a new, more hard-driving one that gets into the song’s Latin rhythms immediately and the edit of Chairmen Of The Board’s “Life And Death” removes the psychedelic intro and most of the instrumental breaks to create a beat-dominated rework that changes its overall feel from rocked-up funk into something consistently danceable. These edits make for pleasing listens because they are rethinking the songs within their own elements instead of trying to compete with them by adding a bunch of extraneous sonic clutter (as all too many modern remixers do).
The only moment that feels out of place on this set is the inclusion of Blue Moderne’s “Through The Night”: despite being a good song and a typically imaginative edit, it’s electronically-oriented 1980’s production style sticks out alongside the 1970’s-oriented, more organic-sounding tracks that surround it. That quibble aside, Edits By Mr. K Vol. 2 is a consistently rewarding listen that offers surprises and good grooves in equal measure. Both disco fans and more soul/funk-oriented listeners will find plenty to enjoy here.