Sun-drenched days, sultry evenings and – in the words of a certain, notorious Detroiter – long, hot, sexy nights. All images that relate to summer and, in my mind at least, to this sizzling, deep house mix from Miguel Migs.
Notable for their spacey, soulful house aesthetic and downright naughty cover art, San Francisco based label Naked Music enjoyed a good run in the early noughties. They certainly churned out a few bona fida classics: ‘Music And Wine’ and ‘Pure’ from Blue Six (an alias of label co-founder Jay Denes) and Trentemøller’s ‘Le Champagne’ for example.
Migs was a big player in Naked’s success, turning in his own productions and proving a reliable remixer. ‘Nude Tempo One’ stands as one of his, and Naked’s, finest achievements. Effortlessly smooth, unerringly produced – I still can’t get over how good this sounds on my speakers – and cajolingly funky, I think this release deserves its place in the pantheon of timeless house music mixes.
A Jimpster remix sets the tone perfectly from the start: dreamy pads, crisp percussion and a cool as you like bassline unaffectedly doing its thing. Onda’s ‘Happiness Is Free’ glides easily in with a purring bass and a soft, wispy vocal urging you to abandon your woes. More positive vibes are beamed direct to you on Basti and Vincenzo’s remix of ‘Love Yourself.’ If the on point drums, funky guitar and euphoric vocals aren’t sending you into rapture, then just wait for that little scat outro at the end of the track…
‘The Dream (Deep Dreamer Remix)’ is equally delicious. Some kind of innate, aural sweet spot is massaged while listening to the slick percussion and delectable bass play off each other… not to mention that trumpet! Smoother than a knob of butter!
Louis Benedetti’s ‘Show You My Love’ keeps the ridiculously high standard going somehow with another gorgeous bassline and silky vocal. When it hits, Phonicfood’s remix of ‘Get Down,’ packs a superb drop based around blissed-out piano stabs. Derrick White’s ‘Soul 2 Let Go’ is also gold. A meandering bass rolls along, kneading out any remaining inhibitions while misty pads float overhead.
‘Highly Strung’ wakes us up from that dream state with some spicy jazz flute before a Migs dub of one of his own productions introducing a sweet, spiralling bass. Some boisterous drums then clatter around on a Ron Trent remix, offering a bit of welcome variety ahead of the wandering flute and bouncy, rising bass of ‘Spiritual (Distant Music Dub Mix).’
Then comes Kerri C’s 2000 touch-up of the hallowed ‘Track 1’ from his ‘Atmosphere E.P.’ That classic bassline and heavenly organ are still there while the euphoria inducing horns sound even better – they are a lot more to the fore here than in the original. Overall, it’s a mighty fine streamlining of one of the greatest tunes in the annals of house.
After that ecstatic climax, Migs begins the simmer down with Andy Caldwell’s ‘I Can’t Wait’ – a light, soothing number with a mellow bass. ‘Aziza (Silky Club Vocal)’ provides the mix with one last high: a liquid guitar riff, snappy hi-hats and Latin vocal lending a sense of heady bliss.
‘Ultimate High’ and ‘Release’ are both lush slices that round the mix off smoothly while keeping your attention on the groove.
To sum up: grooving, inspiring and sophisticated – ‘Nude Tempo One’ possesses those timeless elements required to attain ‘classic’ status in spades. In my opinion, it’s underrated – modern house’s predilection for tense, lo-fi, techy strains being at odds with Migs’ more polished, airy style. Nevertheless, I hold this mix up as an enduring example of flawlessly produced, seamlessly mixed, endlessly enjoyable house music still worthy of recognition and acclaim.