The top ten golden touches of Disco's Norwegian Midas
Todd Terje has always been a guaranteed day-brightener and, yep, he's done it again with the announcement of a juicy pair of edits hitting shelves in super-limited quantities as part of this year's Record Store Day deluge. Issued on the specially-revived TK Disco label, whose last release came in 1987 with Chas Jankel's eternal "Glad to Know You", Terje's edits of "I Get Lifted" (listen below) and "I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC and the Sunshine Band are twinned with the originals on yellow and green vinyl, so they'll look as snazzy as they sound.
The old edits scene can be a hoary old place. Chin-strokers congregate around the most obscure 12"s they can get their mum to pay for, bastardising disco until it becomes as appealing as an Ed Sheeran deep cut - which makes Terje's unashamedly populist approach even more of a pleasure. He doesn't go in for trickery or frippery: these are classic records given a light contemporary touch. A slightly extended break here and a vocal shift there is all it takes for a TT edit to be the centrepiece of any half-decent DJs set.
So what better reason than a waxy release, for us to fill you in on our ten personal favourites from his bursting back catalogue of certified dancefloor dynamite?
Chic - "I Want Your Love (Terje Edit)"
Every good DJ knows that the last song of the night is the most important. It is the one you talk about on the way home, the one you play as you crack open ill-advised tinnies and roll even more ill-advised joints in a living room full of people who were strangers to you an hour ago. And this is probably the best song to play at the end of any night ever. It helps that the original is one of Chic's all time greats but Terje's deft touch and seemingly innate understanding of how important denial and delayed gratification are to dancers turns this into seven minutes of absolute aural heaven.
Roxy Music - "Love is the Drug (Todd Terje Disco Dub)"
One day we will be rich enough to have a pool-side LA house and this song will be playing when you arrive for our birthday party. We will be the one wearing only a bathrobe, making love to your wife. Fix yourself a spritzer and mingle.
Wham - "Club Tropicana (Todd Terje Edit)"
Sheer sunsoaked, tanned, toned, taught, bliss. Despite removing Michael and Ridgely's cooing, keening verses, this one screams of the best holiday you've never had. Proof once again that Terje is an expert in horn-deployment, you'll want to head straight to the easyJet site as soon it finishes. The crowd chatter that bookends it also makes it perfect to play out at those nights when nobody's turned up and you're playing for the bar staff.
Dolly Parton - "Jolene (Todd Terje Mix)"
We don't even really understand what Todd has done to "Jolene", but it sounds like he's thrown it into a zero gravity chamber and let the elements disperse. It takes an already defiant pop song and makes it so proud we want to go through a break up again just so we can dance to this with a bottle of gin in our hand.
Dennis Parker - "Like An Eagle (Todd Terje Edit)"
Dennis Parker is definitely our favourite pornstar-cum-disco-chanteur who released two of the best records ever - the original of this and "New York By Night". He also provided Terje with his occasionally used 'Wade Nichols' alias so it makes sense that the Norwegian flew us over to NYC to the heyday of Studio 54 for this lengthy take on a record that could honestly go on for an hour. It struts, primps and preens round the club. Monumentally massive.
Bee Gees - "You Should Be Dancing (TT Edit)"
Even the dead dance to this.
The Bangles - "Walk Like an Egyptian (Todd Terje Edit)"
Perhaps the greatest proof of Todd Terje's quality as a producer, is his ability to take a questionable few minutes of a novelty-semi-Orientalist-pop and turn it into a spacious, shimmering shakedown. Through his crafty re-working he manages to upgrade the track from wedding reception status, to a perfect early evening build-up act.
America - "Horse with No Shame (Todd Terje Edit)"
America's dad-friendly paean to god-knows-what is remoulded as a cosmic rush of spangly reverb and sparkly fretwork. Not exactly Todd's peakest banger but it's a proper campfire screamer.
Stevie Wonder - "All I Do (Todd Terje Edit)"
This is another calculated exercise in lowering the tone for maximum groove. Splashes of reverb rustle through this from start to finish making it a pretty subtle edit, but a blinder all the same. A potent reminder that often with reworks, less is way more. All Todd has to do to punch out another night-making edit, it seems, is be himself.
Guns N' Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle (Todd Terje Re-Edit)"
The only other time you are likely to get Axl Rose anywhere near a dancefloor is if you give him some reggae - something you can watch for 15 straight minutes here (thank me later). Once your amusement in that has dwindled however, spoil yourself on this twisted rework of "Welcome to the Jungle". I guess you'd say Todd has an Appetite for Deconstruction? Sorry.