I started listening to The Beach Boys when I was about five years old. They inform my taste in music to this very day. But like most things we loved in childhood, I lost track of The Beach Boys. Nearly forgot them. Then I heard this track by a DJ and producer named Bullion, and it took me right back.
This song, "Long Promised," samples almost entirely from "Long Promised Road," a song recorded by The Beach Boys in 1971. Here's the song in its original form, for your reference:
It's one of my favourite Beach Boys songs — moody, a touch melancholy, but with a chorus that breaks through like the hot California sun.
I've probably listened to this song about a bazillion times, but then, for whatever reason, my tastes moved on. I started digging into different stuff. It happens, y'know? Then, sometime this week, I was poking around some weird corner of the internet and I happened upon what Bullion did with this song.
It was a revelation. I'm hesitant to call Bullion's version a remix, because that word makes me cringe whenever I hear it. Any dumb wannabe DJ can take a song, tweak the tempo ever so slightly, add a thunking bass drum, and call it a remix. This ain't that.
To my ear, Bullion took all the shining and unique parts of The Beach Boys' original and rearranged them masterfully. They're still familiar, but they're turned around in a way that makes you look at them as if for the first time. It's like driving toward the house you grew up in from the opposite end of the street: Everything is immediately recognisable, but you're driven to re-examine all the familiar details you either neglected or ignored.
Bullion is a hard guy to come by these days. He's released a few EPs (one of which, a tour through The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds in the style of J Dilla, I've waxed wide-eyed about before), but you won't find his stuff at the top of the rack at Kmart.
I'll never meet the guy, probably. But if I do, I'll have to thank him. He made me remember some of my favourite songs that I'd nearly forgotten. Bullion, you're as good as gold. [iTunes]