David Penn Brings a 1980s Club Classic to Present-Day Dance Floors

There’s certainly an inherit danger and added challenge in remixing a beloved classic song from a bygone era.

  • First, as an artist, you must respect the original, where it came from and its passionate fans.
  • Second, then you must also be able to insert something new and fresh that improves the original in some way, while not tarnishing its magic or spirit.

It’s a tricky tight rope to walk, one which many artists fall off of along the way. However, in the case of Adeva’s 1988 hit “In & Out of My Life”, the latest remix treatment comes courtesy of a true house professional in David Penn.

His experience and skill shines through, delicately transferring the classic elements of the original to present-day dance floors with an updated house rhythm.

Of course, Penn isn’t the only electronic music legend who has wanted to tackle a remix of Adeva’s 1980s landmark track. In fact, the song has been remixed several times over the years, but to much more uninspired results.

Sacrificing charm and vocal’s life

Swedish producer Eric Prydz turned Adeva’s soulful dance song into a techno-style track, but seemed to suck some of the power and the life out of her vocals – which made the song a true standout – in doing so. Prydz sacrificed the original’s charm to create a banger that had some technical flare, but lacked in emotion and connection to its audience.

Even still, Prydz’s name and brand attracted a certain segment of the electronic music world and thus earned his remix plenty of spins. However, that 2009 edition is now mostly forgotten, which has given way for Penn to make a proper, more respectful remix.

But Penn’ remix strengths the original

While Prydz’s mix may have disappointed some fans of the Adeva’s classic, Penn’s 2013 version manages to pull off the rare feat of infusing some new life into an already lively track.

He is able to use the strengths of the original, while simply updating the 80s feel with a more modern house beat, making his remix serve almost as a time machine for Adeva fans, who will be able to dance to the new song and bask in the nostalgia of the old one at the same time.

Penn’s remix is certainly lighter on the vocals – which dominated the forefront of the original song – but when they do appear, their power, heart and soul is left intact. Meanwhile, the late 80s/early 90s-style keyboard-led rhythm is replaced by a progressive house beat that features a clapping hi-hat, a pulsating bass and low-toned synths that dance around Adeva’s voice.

The updated sound modernizes the song, introducing it to new listeners, but it should be a hit with fans of the old New York club scene as well, where Adeva became wildly popular 25 years ago.

Unlike Prydz’s version, Penn’s doesn’t try to do too much with the beat. It’s a very standard familiar pattern, but it’s the combination of the progressive house influences and Adeva’s unmistakably powerful vocals that really sells the song. Simply put, Penn adheres to remixing the track, not remaking it.

Of course, there will be those die-hard fans of the 1980s house scene who simply can’t get on board with any alteration of the original track. However, there will be many more who will be able to celebrate house music’s past and its present with Penn’s version of “In & Out of My Life.”

To check out this track and more like it, be sure to visit Houseschuh Internet Radio. Getting your groove will have never been easier or more fun!

Adeva – In And Out Of My Life (David Penn)
published: May 13th, 2013
Label: Urbana Recordings

This post is also available in Deutsch.