Spellbound (Rae & Christian Remix)
Rae & Christian Presenting Veba
12″ Single, 1996
Mark Rae (the Rae in Rae & Christian) is the head of Grand Central Records out of Manchester and the subject of a story that I love to tell. I was at PS-1 “warm-up” summer event series back in 2001 (I think) and he was the DJ at the outdoor “urban beach” area.
This is what I love about New York. In any other city, at an outdoor museum party you would have some “you can rent my speakers and if you need me to play too, let me know” type of guy. But in NYC, even at events smaller than this one, it’s common for the DJ to have flown over oceans to be there.
Anyways, I had no idea who he was at the time but he was doing his thing so I stuck around for a while. As the afternoon turned to evening and the event was nearing its end, the organizer got up and made a little “this is the last event for the summer” speech and then said “we have a few more minutes, so if you’ve got one more tune…?” Mark then unleashed this track that just made my jaw drop. It actually seemed like I was in a movie for a second. The last tinge of orange sun was fading and this perfectly dark, intense, chest-rattling track just take hold of the crowd. Similar to what I wrote about the end of “Please Don’t Go” at the Wonderfull party, this track seemed to bring everyone into the same moment when it dropped. It was almost as if someone said “no side conversations please” and everyone redirected their attention to the group and the task at hand.
Despite my best efforts to think “this sounds kinda like…”, I could finish the sentence and I couldn’t even decide if it was R&B, Hip Hop, or Electronic. I decided that I had to find out what the track was even if standing in line to talk to him like a groupie was the only way to find out. So, I got in line…behind the 20 year-old girls…and waited. I finally got up to him and I asked what the track was and the exchange went like this:
me: “what was that last track!?”
mark rae: “spellbound, that’s one of mine”
me: (i squinted my eyes and tilted my head – indicating I needed more info)
him: “rae & christian – i’m rae…mark rae”
me: (still making the “not enough info” face, now shaking me head a little)
him: “grand central records…?”
me: (still shaking my head, I raised my shoulders a bit)
-he gets up and goes to his record bag and pulls out the 12″ and hands it to me
-i check it out
him: “it would give it to you but I have to play in San Francisco tomorrow”
-my eyes get big at the thought
him: “oh what the hell, I don’t need to play it, take it!”
The hottest thing about it was the more apparent it became that I didn’t know anything about him, the more gracious he became. There was no eye-rolling, he just seemed to smile more with each question – I guess he knew he had a new convert.
Before, you listen to this on your tinny computer speakers and don’t understand the big deal, please do yourself a favor and either check it out on headphones or better yet on a good car system (if possible).
>> songs are available for two weeks [8 MB]