If you had been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you would have come across a handful of posts on the Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act Night Drive. Comprised of primary songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, soap opera-like yet very true circumstances — they met and bonded after they had discovered that the woman that they had both unwittingly been dating at the same time died in a tragic car accident. Since the project’s formation, the duo has received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy Division, Cut Copy, Brian Eno, the Knife, the Drums, LCD Soundsystem. Depeche Mode and others. However, interestingly enough, the duo’s propulsive synth pop single “Rise and Fall” manages to sound as though it were inspired by A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away)” and Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” while thematically the song focuses on a the slow dissolution of a relationship in which the song’s narrator knows that the end is inevitable and coming soon — and yet, there’s the realization that walking away from a relationship is difficult, even when it’s absolutely necessary; in fact, you can sense the narrator’s deep seated fears of what his life would be like, if the relationship ends. And thanks to an aching and rousing hook, the song manages to be a break up anthem that should feel intimately and uncomfortably familiar.
Recently, the renowned Los Angeles-based production and DJ duo Classixx remixed the song, turning the moody, synth-based torch song into a breezy, funky, summery, club banger along the lines of Tuxedo, Dam-Funk, 7 Days of Funk and others, as the duo pairs the original vocal track with twinkling electric piano, a sinuous bass line and thumping beats — and as a result, the heartbreak at the core of the song is reduced to the dull throb of having time pass by. As Connell and Duhon explained to the folks at Billboard “Classixx reinterprets the song through the lens of that same person reminiscing about the incident many years later while chilling on a beach and sipping a martini. Sure it was sad and heartbreaking, but it’s hard to stay sad while in the Cayman Islands.”
As Classixx’s Michael David and Tyler Blake explained to Billboard, their remix of Night Drive’s “Rise and Fall” involved them pulling out electric piano and bass and recording one long take jamming over the vocal track. “We were feeling the groove and liked some of the imperfections, so we left them in. Our initial pass was more abstract, but the band [Night Drive] helped us bring it back a little closer to the original material. It was a pretty collaborative effort through email. I like how it still sounds a little rough around the edges though. Sometimes that’s where the charm lies,” the duo’s Tyler Blake added in an emailed statement to Billboard.