Midnight Magic - Beam Me UpBrooklyn’s Midnight Magic might be the first group to get finger-wagged by their own press release. Accompanying their debut on Permanent Vacation is a bit of maternal nagging reminding them that when they “popped up on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space ‘Best of 2009′ they really should’ve had a record out.” You’ve got the folks at Permvac then to thank for staging an intervention and getting this neo-disco classic to the streets.
It all hinges around a big, big vocal, the sort that makes you want to lean your head back and close your eyes while you dance. It’s a full-chested wail, evoking one of Larry Levan’s angels, and the melody makes a multi-octave parabola that reflects the climax-release dynamics of dance music as well as a Friday night journey across Manhattan island. “Beam me up, beam me up uptown!” the singer exclaims ecstatically, then “beam me down, beam me back downtown…!” she sighs, all over strutting keys and a coy disco shuffle.
“Beam Me Up”‘s groove comes courtesy of several vets of the Hercules & Love Affair live band and a number of DFA releases, and the remixers are a mini starting line-up of Gotham’s finest. Renault’s mix elbows its way to the front as the go-to version, with heavier drums, gussied up into a glistening, crowd-friendly burner. This seemingly leaves Gavin Russom and DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy extra room to weird out. Russom deploys his small arsenal of home-tinkered synths, spraying fuzzy see-saw riffs all over the track’s lower end. The end result sounds half like a remix and half like it’s being invaded by Russom’s own Black Meteoric Star alias: The remix as rasta takeover.
At a mere seven-and-a-half minutes, Goldsworthy’s rework is practically a blink of an eye compared to some of his more epic Loving Hand outings. Here he goes the cosmic route, Moroderifying the tune within an inch of its life with swirling layers of analog percolation, even occasionally aping the breakdowns from “I Feel Love.” But wait, where’s the vocal? Goldsworthy’s gone and left it in the dust except for one mangled moment, a bold move, but then again, you don’t need to be beamed up if you’re already in outer space.
—William Rauscher

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