There is a section of re-edit culture that prizes, above all else, quality. A world of mythically rare records, labor-of-love editing, and where a producer’s release schedule is about timing and restraint, rather than desperately trying to remain in the spotlight.
Welcome to the world of rare record dealer, esteemed DJ and producer, font of disco knowledge and the man responsible for some of the finest disco re-edits of the last twenty years, Nick the Record.
Nick certainly DJs all over the world, but isn’t a globe-trotting super-club DJ, preferring to pick and choose select gigs and festivals (Dekmantel, Garden Festival in Croatia, Sunset Campout California, STARVUE, Concrete in Paris, etc.), with plenty of time spent gigging in Japan where he is followed by a dedicated, almost fanatical audience. If I were the type of writer to employ over-used cliches, I’d call Nick a DJs DJ. If only every club DJ was a world-respected expert on their genre, the type sought out by other DJs to assist in the never-ending search for rare jams. Imagine how good all their DJ sets would be.
The same restrained approach has applied to Nick’s production career. For many years, (working with his edit partner Dan Tyler from the Idjut Boys with whom he runs the Record Mission label), Nick put out one project a year. So when you look back at his discography, it’s all gold: not one single second of filler. If only every producer/DJ released just one single project a year: one single, an EP, a collab or an album, just one a year. Imagine how good those releases would be.
Summer usually means a very busy DJ schedule for Nick, but we caught up with him in-between festivals and asked him to pick out his favorites from his own impressive back catalog of edits, a conversation which shed light not only on his particular approach to editing but also the changes in the industry he’s experienced throughout his career.
DJ Friendly: Sun Sun (Honeydipped Records)
“This was the first edit I ever did back in 1994. I heard Victor Rosado play the original version at the Ministry Of Sound, on that killer system, when it first opened and was mesmerized by the strange break section of the record. Up until this point most of the edits I had heard were the classic NY style of extending the intro and extending the break on a classic. I prefer this approach of taking a small part of the record and extending it into something a DJ can play. That’s why I used the DJ Friendly moniker on this one.”
Foolish, Friendly & Forgetful: The Drive (Recycled Records)
“Before he grew up and got all sensible Felix Dickinson was known as “Foolish Felix” as he was prone to regular amusing mishaps. “Forgetful” was our friend Mark Eagling who may have liked a smoke. I remember we did this the night after watching England beat The Netherlands 4-1 in Euro 98. And we even scratched “4-1” in the run out groove of the record.
“This is an edit of The River Drive [by Jupiter Beyond], a tune I like but which has several really cheesy keyboard parts so we chopped those out, extended the breaks and it was a hit. To give you an indication of how the record business has changed since then we sold at least 3, maybe even 4,000 copies of this. Nowadays we press between 5 and 700 copies of our edit releases.”
Paper Doll: Get Down Boy (Counterpoint Records)
“In the late nineties I did a couple of compilations for the forward thinking Counterpoint Records, run by Jake Behnan (R.I.P.). Entitled Disco Juice 1 & 2 they featured exclusively music from Peter Brown and Patrick Adams. There have been more comps and repackaging and represses of those tunes but we did it first. Most of the tunes we released in their original format but we did a promo 12” with a couple of re-edits. This one we took out some of the vocal and lengthened the long trippy breakdown section. The original track has some great flange and we added some EQ manipulation to add intensity.”
Skye: Ain’t No Need Pt 1&2 (Z Records)
“I put together a comp for Dave Lee’s Z records called Under The Influence and on here I did quite a few edits. The 12″ Disco Mix of the Skye record is actually a DJ edit from way back in 1976. It basically takes the groove and music section of the original version and repeats it to make an awesome record. This was an anthem for me in Japan in the nineties and when I got hold of the original 7″ a couple of years later I discovered there is this sweet soul tune which starts out way more mellow before building into that sweet groove so it seemed like a good idea to marry the two.”
Nick The Record, Dan & The No Commercial Value Band: Give Me More (Record Mission)
“When I make music I always need to work with someone more skilled and/or technically adept than myself and Dan Tyler from the Idjut Boys ticks both of those boxes. We’ve been working together for a few years now and his skills and my records and ear for arrangement seem to be a good combo. We have just released the 4th EP of our edits on our label Record Mission. The original is already a killer tune but it’s just way too short so we extended it, added some subtle keys and dub effects and it’s been the record I have been asked about the most in my sets over the last year.”
Boyd Jarvis: The Music Got Me (Visual)
“When Aiden from Ransom Note asked if we would be up for doing an edit of this our first thought was, well it’s kind of the perfect record so why bother? So we took a different approach with this one and decided a heavily dubbed version was the way to go. Dan played the record through an analog delay and it sounded heavy. We were also told it had to be the instrumental version as that was all they had licensed. We used mostly the instrumental but I took some artistic licence and used a really heavy bass part that was only on the vocal version and also used the end section of the vocal version which has a little bit of ad-lib vocal and really brought the mix to a crescendo.”
So, just a taster then from Nick The Record’s near-30 years spent re-editing some of the most luscious lost dance floor gems ever produced. With an approach based on what might be called ‘respectful intervention’, his edits sometimes take the best little moments from some of the best records and turn them into basement anthems, other times he adheres to the original spirit of the song, applying some DJ savvy and post production to tighten things up for the party. Either way, Nick’s production and editing career is the epitome of quality over quantity, his DJ sets a ticket to disco nirvana.
Nick The Record, Dan & The No Commercial Value Band – EP 4 is available now on Record Mission.
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