One thing I can thank the rise of music blogs and websites for is the exposure to sounds and artists I probably would otherwise have never heard in my lifetime. As an English person, this is especially true of both communist era and post-communist Eastern European/Russian music and in recent years I have become fascinated by the ‘otherness‘ of the sounds coming out of these vast territories.
From the film soundtracks of Russian composers such as Eduard Artemyev & Alexey Rybnikov to strange seventies disco courtesy of the Bulgarian Balkanton record label via the tripped out vintage “space” sounds of the 2002 Kosmos – Soundtracks Of Eastern Germany’s Adventures In Space album and right up to date with the current disco/house/electronica/edits produced by people like Pnk.Discorp from Poland, the Slovenian duo Ichisan & Nakova and the remixes and edits of Russian music-makers Alien Delon and How_Beezar.
I recently got in touch with How_Beezar and he kindly sent me some re-edits to post on Overfitting Disco as well as some information about himself.
How_Beezar is a former punk, indie & trip-hop drummer who spent ten years playing in a variety of Russian bands before sucumbing to the deep disco. I first came across How_Beezar via his 2009 bootleg compilation, the wonderfully named ‘Tracks That Left Their Time Behind (1977-1983)’ released on his digital label ‘Ctrl+Z Records‘. and still available to download for free via his LiveJournal page. Anyone who has the good taste to include tracks from Robotwerke, Hott City, Shock and Kikrokos as a way of mapping out the precursors/roots of house/techno/electronica without simply relying on the usual suspects, was someone worth checking out.
Since then How_Beezar has released a steady stream of diverse mind & body provoking re-edits, some of which are gathered together as a single digital release called ‘One Year Of Re-Edits 2009-2010‘ (along with a couple of well selected original tracks). It’s available for free via the above link and comes as a single mixed MP3 file with cue file (so you can either burn it to disc or create single tracks using freeware like the nifty Medieval cue-splitter).
It has been difficult to choose any single re-edit to give a flavour of what to expect from How_Beezar so I have settled for three. The first one comes from the well-known (amongst cosmic space cadets anyway) Russian electronic artists Zodiac and is taken from their 1983 ‘Music In The Universe‘ album. The re-edit pumps up the afro-infused drum workout and slap-bass signature into a JP Massiera like frenzy before launching the signature zodiac synth melody into the stratosphere.
The second choice is an edit of one of my all time favourite tracks of any musical genre, Jesse Henderson’s 1977 masterpiece ‘I Did It Again‘. Sometimes a successful edit is knowing when not to mess with perfection but simply expand on what makes the track truly great and on hearing the extended drum breaks, it is clear How_Beezar knows this lesson well. If anything it reminds me of a Larry Levan live mix, high praise indeed.
Note: because of server file size limitations I have had to re-encode this MP3 at 256 however the full 320 version can be downloaded below:
The third and final track takes us back to Russia & 1980 with a re-edit of artist/composer Yury Antonov’s ‘I Remember‘ (or ‘I Reminisce‘ depending on the translation) which features on the soundtrack of the 1981 Russian film ‘Take Care Of The Women!‘. How_Beezar kindly provided a Youtube clip from the film (check out the background dancing, clearly Russian and European nightclubs of the early eighties shared the same ‘crap dancing’ aesthetic). It is worth watching just to hear how the track has been radically reworked.
The re-edit is a total heads-down no nonsense boogie kind of affair that burns the guitar licks deep into your soul and long after you have heard it, that hook will still be swirling around your brain.
How_Beezar has done two different edits of the above track and the 2009 version can be found on his re-edits compilation album).
To contact How_Beezar or keep up to date with his ongoing releases, here are the all important links:
I would just like to thank How_Beezar for kindly offering to share his material with Overfitting Disco and I hope in the future we can share some more of his re-edits.