Saturday, August 20, 2011

Melancholy Rose by Operatica (Richie Santana Remix)

In Spring 2001 I was walking around in the now-defunct Wherehouse store in Atascadero, CA, for one of the first times since I started rejoining the human race after a dozen-year hiatus (up to that point but it wasn't over yet). The management was playing over the in-house stereo system various sample tracks from a series of CD's on display up at the counter that were being heavily promoted. I was at the time getting back into music after recently coming to the then-revolutionary-for-me realization it wasn't the devils work after all (I'm only half-joking but that's another story for another time). I was only looking for music cassettes which they were selling greatly discounted as that was old-school technology by that point but was the only recorded music-playing medium I was familiar with having been in cultural hibernation since the late 1980's. I was entirely unfamiliar with CD's and DVD's and how they functioned and how to operate them and I was determined to stick with what I knew for as long as possible. Of course this limited what I could purchase as by that year many artists were no longer doing the apparently common 1990's custom of producing their albums in both cassette and CD (or DVD) form.

As I stood in the sorry-looking picked-over cassette section by the back wall something began to play over the stereo system that pulsed through the building and made the ground move and moved my soul as well. It was my very first encounter with trance music and as corny and sappy as it sounds it changed my life. How trance transformed my life is something I'm eager to share but that is for another future posting here entirely devoted to that subject. The track that I heard at that moment was a trance remix of an electronica piece by music project Operatica (by Lord Vanger) and was a remix of "Melancholy Rose" off their "O: Volume 1" album. This remix was by Richie Santana and was on the A-Side of the Club Nation America CD (which I highly recommend) by the Ministry of Sound which was mixed by Johnny Vicious (meaning he selected the songs created by other artists and blended them together into a single uninterrupted orgy of aural sex for the ear). The haunting vocals were by opera professional Maureen O'Flynn and that opera element blended magically with the atmospheric and ethereal trance mastery of Richie Santana remixing Lord Vanger's original gem. This generated what I still feel is a musical masterpiece that was virtually ignored by the music mainstream as has happened to trance in general.

Unfortunately, since that time two things have occurred to trance. It has now peaked in artistic quality and on not an entirely unrelated note become more commercialized and mainstream taking it ever further from it's 1990's roots. It has also inevitably morphed into numerous other sub-genres some good and some less so perhaps.

One more thing about that day in the Spring of 2001. I asked about the song at the counter and was told the name saw the CD cover and after finding out there was no cassette version of it I purchased the CD and a CD player the next day as I remember and that started my then-new addiction to electronica in general and trance in particular.

Please play this video and if possible on good speakers:

Here for purposes of comparison is the original version of the track:

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