- The most original thing about Corinne's EP for On The Prowl, the Brooklyn label run by Runaway's Marcos Cabral and Jacques Renault, may be its inspiration: Instead of deep house, Italo disco, acid, dub techno or other oft-imitated styles, it's modeled after early '80s freestyle, one of the few subgenres in electronic dance music that's never really had a proper comeback.
I wouldn't be surprised if that changes very soon, spurred on in part by Corinne's "Tonight." It's a perfect pastiche of freestyle, from its shuddering drum-machine foundations all the way to the artist's alias, which not-unselfconsciously references Shannon, Connie, Cynthia, Corina and their dozens of sisters in first names.
There are resonant percussive chirps, bouncy minor-key arpeggios, hollow Linn Drum snares and ungainly, glass-shattering orchestral stabs; there's an unmistakable Arthur Baker shudder to the drums, run through tight reverb and left rattling slightly out of sync, just enough to instill unease. The song is basically a study in Shannon's "Let the Music Play," and the homage is so faithful, it could easily be taken for a song from the early '80s in a blind listening test. (The dub mix only extends the illusion, stripping down to the gnarliest bits and wailing away on re-triggered vocal samples.) Even if it's an exercise, it's so skillfully executed and effectively rendered that it leaves you rather awestruck. Plus, it sounds great, and it does house music the service of opening up the possibility of textures and cadences that have been lying in the dollar bin for decades, and are ripe for the plucking.
Runaway give the tune a requisite house rework, in both vocal and an instrumental version. They stick with cheap, unvarnished drum machine sounds and equally spindly synthesizers, but they manage to build an impressively proportioned groove just the same, splitting the difference between the Panorama Bar and "Breakers' Revenge."
A2 Tonight (Dub)
B1 Tonight (Runaway Remix)
B2 Tonight (Runaway Remix Inst)