Classic House Series – Episode #10 – Reach – Lil Mo Yin Yang

For our 10th installment of our Classic House Series, I thought I’d share a little recipe for an iconic house anthem:

Take two legendary house music producers, get them in the studio to mess around a little and add a couple of glasses of wine and you’ve got the ingredients to create one BOMB of a track.

The two producers in question include one-half of the extremely important house production duo Masters at Work. “Little” Louie Vega, and the man behind countless underground anthems as well as the successful crossover act Reel 2 Real in the form of Erick Morillo, whose anthem “I Like To Move It” has transcended the clubs to be featured in commercials, video games and the Madagascar movie series.

Combining chunky beats, glimmering synths and vocals snatched from “Love and Happiness” by River Ocean feat, India, a side project of Vega’s, the track builds until a long siren sample comes in before dropping into the apex of the track.  Produced during an impromptu studio session when the two legends were fooling around and having “a little sippy-sippy”, it remains the only co-production by the duo under the Lil Mo Yin Yang moniker.

As if the original cut wasn’t fantastic enough, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts by the end of 1995, Multiply Records re-released the track in 1996 with remixes from acclaimed UK production duo Basement Jaxx and Alcatraz.  The Jaxx crew offered a moodier take on their mix, but the Alcatraz boys cranked out an almost tech-house take on the track which destroyed many a club dancefloor and further cemented the legacy of this anthem.  It seems more than appropriate that they named their remix the “Lil Mo Got Gang-Banged Remix”.

More remixes followed in 2002 and again in 2008, but most were based around the style of the Alcatraz mix.  Retaining the vocal samples of the original, the siren sample was chopped up and turned into a key lead sound for the mix.  The energy of the track was turned up to 11 and offered a fresh take on an already established club staple.  Perfect to drop into a late-night house set, this remains a go-to track for many DJs this day and is one of the most revered tunes ever to come out of the legendary Strictly Rhythm label.

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