There’s a lot of different sides to him as there is to any modern artist but the David Morales that history remembers best will probably be the remixer. You couldn’t compile a list of “essential” David Morales remixes without the learned staff of an encyclopedia to manage it. The sheer quantity ranges from a thousand and one pop songs he remade for ’90s and ’00s club play, to the ones made to show for Billboard reporters (an old trick labels used to get rare and mostly limited release tracks on to the charts) and onward to the ones he made just for himself. Often the stories of how David Morales remixed tracks are more interesting and enduring than anything about the originals we still remember, and his remixes can still provide a masterclass of education to anyone that wants to pursue this as a career — or, better, as an artform.
The liner notes of “The Distance We Share” imply the title track was named or at least composed before the coronavirus pandemic as an “homage to human interdependence.” Tibi Dabo (a project of Max Guardans) has a masterful touch with tracks that feel so tightly composed they could be expressed in equations. The muted beats and subtle, imperceptible shifts and changes lead to a state of sensory confusion, with sound seemingly arranged like a string of lights. This is also true of “Komorebi” which, according to Wikipedia, actually refers to the visual perception of light filtered through trees in Japanese.
Morales’ Red Zone mix doesn’t try to blow the speakers up — it works with heavy bass and drums to pack more energy, turning a sprint into a stomp. But it’s the Diridim Mix that stands out here, challenging the original for conjuring sheer beauty and plunging below this glittering surface in search of soul. This isn’t music you would seek out David Morales to remix, which is why it’s so cool that Damian Lazarus’ label did so.
Tibi Dabo: The Distance We Share / Crosstown Rebels (June 2020/12″ Vinyl/Digital)
A1. Tibi Dabo: “The Distance We Share” (6:59)
A2. Tibi Dabo: “Komorebi” (5:01)
B1. Tibi Dabo: “Komorebi” (David Morales Red Zone remix) (6:22)
B2. Tibi Dabo: “Komorebi” (David Morales Diridim mix) (7:12)