- It's hard to think of anyone who flipped from being a darling of the alternative scene to a bona fide house music maven quite like Ben Watt did. But dig deep—way before Todd Terry's huge 1995 remix of "Missing" by Everything But the Girl, Watt's jazz-pop group with his partner Tracey Thorn—and the signs were already there. Demos from 1988's Idlewild, worked up with a drum machine, are basically raw house sketches.
Watt mothballed his house and electronica label Buzzin Fly last year, but it's now been temporarily revived for an EP of remixes based on his recent (non-dance music) album, Hedra. It's likely that Watt sees the two protagonists, Charles Webster and Ewan Pearson, as like-minded souls. The former shares the same melodic, deep house style that Watt purveyed as a DJ, and the latter is an old mate who put his DJ duties on hold to produce Hedra. Webster's lead remix of "Golden Ratio" is enveloped by underwater beats and steam-engine hisses. There's eventually a little music box refrain that leads it somewhere darker, while the dub foregrounds its kicks and percussion. The "Golden Retouch" isn't a huge leap from the album's John Martyn-esque original, but with the simple addition of congas and chimes, Webster moves its location from the original's UK-feel to Ibiza.
There's barely a cigarette paper between Pearson's two re-edits of "Nathaniel." The Berlin resident adopts a more contemporary approach on both, part cosmic disco, part psych/analogue stomp, and as such they're likely to find favour in an eclectic dance floor setting.
A1 Golden Ratio (Charles Webster Remix)
B1 Golden Ratio (Charles Webster Dub)
B2 Golden Ratio (Charles Webster Golden Retouch)
C1 Nathaniel (Ewan Pearson Extended Edit)
D1 Nathaniel (Ewan Pearson Extended Instrumental)