Of all the tracks that have been rolling around in my mind since Matthew’s passing, I keep coming back to this stunning and so necessary edit of the Ohio Players’ track “Ecstasy,” posted on his blog back in July. Seriously, I’ve been listening to this in the car, at the gym, in my office between classes, washing dishes, cleaning the house, walking the dog, in the shower, basically everywhere I’ve been in the last week I’ve been listening to “Ecstasy,” either literally through some headphones or just playing it on repeat in my mind. The way he perfectly extends a 2:30 song into 4 minutes of pure aural pleasure continually leaves me speechless. I’ve been promising myself that at some point in the near future I’m gonna get a dub plate of this pressed just so I can play it out on vinyl.
The way the edit comes together reminds me of a conversation we had at KALX back in 2002 when the I Love Serge collection came out. By far the best remix on that album was essentially a re-edit of “Ballade De Melody Nelson” by Howie B. He didn’t add much of anything to it, he just used original elements to take a song that always felt far too short and create a 7 minute epic. With all the bells and whistles attached to the other remixes, Matthew and I really appreciated the simplicity of that style. On this edit, Matthew achieved something very similar, also without adding anything “foreign” into the mix:
“I added no extra drums, no quantizing and not even a mixable intro. As a DJ, all of those things can be nice conveniences, but in my view there are some classics you can only fuck up and “Ecstasy” is one of them. Instead, I just made it a little longer and tried to do so in the least obtrusive way possible.”
The brilliance on display here makes me miss Matthew all the more as well as all of the fantastic edits he would have created. But, as has been the case as I pour over all of this music he left us to remember him by, I’m just thankful that we had him as long as we did…couldn’t never do without you. Rest In Peace, Matthew.