Corinne – Tonight review
It was perhaps inevitable that freestyle, perhaps one of the most overlooked of 1980s electronic music styles, would one day begin to get revisited. Hugely popular within New York – particularly with the city’s Hispanic communities – throughout the 1980s, the genre spawned some enormous records, most notably Shannon’s “Let The Music Play” (though many freestyle enthusiasts would cite her “Give Me Tonight” as a truer exponent of the core freestyle sound). Dig through the back catalogues of such noted New York record labels as Vanguard and Tommy Boy, and you’ll find plenty of freestyle tunes. In retrospect, any sound cheap, nasty and overly cheesy, but others still sound heavy, fresh and unbelievable futuristic.
This new release from Runaway’s On The Prowl imprint is about as freestyle as you can get. While actually a brand new track by little-known Brooklyn producer Josh Anzano, it sounds authentically vintage. All the hallmarks of true freestyle are here: stuttering, syncopated rhythms, a ludicrously heavy 808 bassline (here tweaked to oblivion to give the impression of 303 jiggery-pokery), ear-piercing electro melodies and a female vocal extolling the virtues of getting out and partying. It’s more like Alisha’s “Baby Talk” (a Shep Pettibone mixed freestyle club hit from 1985) than “Let The Music Play”, but that’s no bad thing. There’s even a choppy, Latin Rascals style flipside Dub. Honestly, it’s brilliantly produced and ticks all the right boxes – unless you knew, you’d think it was a re-release. Anzano should be applauded.
Remix wise, label bosses Runaway provide two servicable house versions (vocal and instrumental) that cleverly weave the original 80s-sounding synth melodies and vocal between retro-futurist 4/4 beats and menacing Twilo riffs. As good as they are, it’s the original and Dub versions that make the biggest impression. Seriously hot. Matt Anniss