Japanese singer Nokko had a big career in Japan with her group “Rebecca”, which we can only assume sounds like a really cool American name to Japanese people and has nothing to do with the 30’s gothic romance novel. At their worst, Rebecca sounded like the Anime version of 80’s pop melodrama, think Europe or Cutting Crew. At their best, they were something like a mix of Italo Disco and Miami Sound Machine and yes, that is about as cool as you would think it would be.
I Will Catch U is the title track off Nokko’s 2nd solo effort. It would have never hit my radar, except the 12” credits production to Towa Tei of Deee-Lite fame and more importantly, it features the words “Acid Bonus”. I can only wonder why the acid mix was a bonus at all. To me, it’s the only listenable track on the record.
The original album version of I Will Catch U is a piano-house lounge affair complete with flute solos. It’s the sort of thing that people who hate house music are thinking of, when they think of how much they hate house music. In fact, it even makes me hate house music. It’s music that stripy-shirt banker types listen to while getting girl-drink drunk at neon-lit bars in hell. You don’t dance to this, you sip around little umbrellas before ponying up with your Amex Centurion Card.
But the DJ EFX‘s Tribal Acid Bonus is from a totally different world. It tosses out the baby and most of the bathwater, keeping only the original’s catchy stuttering vocal hook. In place of the original instrumental, it adds pounding, yep you guessed it, “Tribal” drums. Vocal snippets and lovely percussion alone carry the first minute and a half. Then the acid line drops. It’s a 303 that makes you weak in the knees. I imagine scores of ravers rushing back from the bathroom to find their friends. It’s a testament to the power of a few good ideas. Just drums, vocals and an expertly tweaked frequency cut-off. Less is more, pass the glow sticks.