Some people think that edits are lazy. It’s so easy to slap a simple drum track onto a forgotten classic. But just as with original pieces of music, edits can vary from catastrophically derivative to wildly imaginative. Some of the most respected club artists around released edits, from Todd Terje to Larry Levan. The question of authorship becomes thorny, but not much more so than with regular sample-heavy dance music. The key to a good edit is to look at a piece of music and see something else, something great that it could be. Then the devil’s in the execution.
John Talabot has run an edit series offshoot of his Hivern Discs label since 2011. These records present a chance for artists like Marc Piñol, Dorisburg and Talabot himself to have a bit of fun, to experiment with a piece of music that they find inspiring. The fourth addition to the Hiverned sequence is courtesy of Lost Scripts, aka Talabot and frequent collaborator Pional, showcasing two different approaches to edits from very different sources.
S.O.P. is the dancefloor monster that’s receiving a lot of attention. It’s a warped rework of the theme tune from Cinemax’s The Knick, and if you listen briefly it could almost pass for a generic tech house banger – all elephantine synth swells and a stripped, metronomic beat. But listen closer and it gets deliciously weird, from the sensually treated vocals to the brutal sweeps of noise that tear across the surface of the track. Reviewed from the dancefloor, this one deserves the hype.
The B-side makes for a radical shift. A.F.K is an afro-house edit that leads with loose, martial drumwork and a bulging bassline. Before you know it a bright arpeggio appears, morphing into a chirpy melody resembling a thumb piano. The track seems to end in a different galaxy to where it started. Edits are ultimately made for fun and dancefloor functionality, and this pair succeeds on both counts.