For those who discovered electronic music in the “Golden Era” of the ’90s, there is a special nostalgia that is felt when listening to those tracks that defined their introduction into a world that was unlike any other. When the music was so fresh and raw, there was no expectation of what it should sound like, but an openness to the endless possibilities of styles that had never been heard before. The uniqueness of the sound combined the amount of time, effort, energy, and money that was invested into the production of each track led to longevity and timelessness that would never be possible in today’s over-saturated and throwaway market. When you re-visit these golden gems, you find that it has stuck with people through the generations, forever embedded in their hearts as it reconnects them to a special moment in time.
Blue Amazon’s “And Then The Rain Falls” is one of those tracks. Released in 1997, “And Then The Rain Falls” was played extensively in clubs and on the radio, featured on compilation albums, reaching the UK charts, and even appearing on TV. Hooked into the minds of many, there were often producers approaching Blue Amazon to remix this classic from the Progressive era, and 22 years later, it was time to bring it to light again.
Taking a new approach to a classic track can create a challenge, however, nothing is better suited for remixes and revisions than electronic music. 20+ year old elements can be refreshed with modern perspectives to become something that is somehow both nostalgic and forward thinking. When Lee Softley was presented with the request again to release remixes of “And Then The Rain Falls”, the right circumstances came together to bring it back in a fresh new way. I caught up with him to learn more, to dive into the past and appreciate the decades of dance that seemingly will continue forever into the future.
Read on for an exclusive sneak peek into the remixes, and re-connect with “And Then The Rain Falls”:
What made you feel that the time was right to release new remixes of this classic track?
The thing about the original version is, it’s never really gone away,
Each week the track appears in Progressive House forums, Facebook group chats, posts and I receive endless messages about the Blue Amazon cat in general.
I also receive a lot of messages from artists asking if they can remix Blue Amazon tracks, which is what sparked off this re-edition.
Last year Damien Spencer asked if he could have a go at remixing the track and his updated take created an influx of interest. His vocal version was outputted as a limited promo via our friends at Pro B Tech and Brent Lawson, the reaction was quite eye-opening in that, one it had never been forgotten and two there was a demand for it.
After the Pro b Tech
At the time I just wanted Damien to get some credit for his efforts and I wasn’t interested in anything further until A Rec started and now it seems fitting.
What are your goals or hopes for this release?
For me personally, the re-edition is more about the remix artists involved and for music fans that liked the original. I kind of had my time with the track in the ’90s, what it did and that’s enough for me, plus that would be hard very to replicate.
I really hope that people like it and support it for the remix artists involved and they get the credit they deserve. We’ve had a lot of good chart success recently with A Rec and its brother label Radiate, again that would be nice and rewarding for the guys involved who have essentially done the work.
With A Rec – we are more about the music fans in general rather than kind of chasing status – however, Paul Sawyer mix has already been featured on some key radio show and that was pleasing to see.
What comes to your mind when you listen to the original? Any particular emotions or memories?
This is quite funny for me because over the years I’ve had a lot of conversations with people asking, “what was the inspiration for the track”, suggesting the lyrics are emotional and it has references to god
The funny thing about the title and the key hook of the song actually came around from me helping a friend move house one weekend. In the middle of moving his furniture it started raining heavily – And Then The Rain Falls lol and that sparked an idea for the title and theme.
James Reid, Vicky Webb and
Beyond the song idea and recording it, the reactions it received when we were playing live at festivals was immense, you would hear it on the radio a lot and being asked to record a pop video for it wasn’t something we ever expected we would ever do.
What was your experience like in the studio when producing And Then Rain Falls in ’97?
I remember it was quite involved
I think we had to re-record it twice just to get it right and it became like a challenge and quest for some kind of perfection, which would never really achieve.
Back then we would include so much small detail in our tracks that it would really take time to balance and find room to fit it all in. A lot of the synth lines came from the Roland JD800, which wasn’t the easiest to program and we were using tape machines to record the vocals and syncing them to the computer.
It was such an involved process and you were in commercial studios that were expensive to use, that added an extra pressure to ensure projects didn’t go over time and budget
While so much has changed in the sound of electronic music, what do you think are the elements that remain the same today?
I think the main thing that still exists is the backbones of electronic music, which originated from 80’s house music and beyond.
Essentially we are still working from that same foundation, developing it and moving it into different areas. There’s always an element of the past and mixed with the present to future.
I think we have become quite arty at times with electronic music and there’s a bigger focus on sound design, more of a listening experience rather than club intended. There are a lot of tracks and quality tracks that I think in the past would have been considered additional B – sides or album tracks.
Compared to say the 90’s I think there’s probably a bit less intent with electronic music being designed for a crowd reaction, however, it’s still great and we are still enjoying it immensely.
How did you choose which producers you wanted to remix And The Rain Falls?
As mentioned Damien mix was already present and was the remix, which really sparked off the idea and desire to reissue.
Mike Hiratzka – is a long-term friend from back in the 90s from his involvement in the Florida progressive scene, he also asked if he could remix the track and the timing was perfect. Mike also remix another Blue Amazon track from the 90s – Four seasons and produced a fantastic piece of work, hence this was an instant yes.
KoZY – from
Paul Sawyer – well Paul has been producing some fantastic music of late, he really has such a dedicated output and desire that totally made sense to ask him.
We also worked together when I remixed his track – Redux Saints – Free Inside and was again totally fitting.
Can you share your
favourite thing about each remixer’s take on the tracks?
I really love the energy of his work, really cool transient bassline, uptempo mix that really drives between progressive and an element of modern trance. The vocals are worked creatively and without being obvious but still,
Again features a dark transient bassline that really drives home. The detail in the mix, FX work is really captivating and creates something unique. Its super modern
His mixes are super classic and really capture the theme of the original very well. There are very warm sonically and a cross between an ambient breaks feel whilst electronically programmed.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Musically this year so far things are shaping up really well, Myself & Zak Gee have got back into a groove of recording some new music. I have some interesting collaborations in the pipeline coming.
A Rec after a short break is really progressing quickly – new releases planned with Damien Spencer, KoZY, Askani, Hall North and we have a cool project in the pipeline with – Lorraine Roar who really making a mark at present.
There’s a very special project being worked on at the moment, which I think will surprise many but that all I can say about it for now.
I’ve been working on this development as well – www.radar-promo.com which is developing a platform for music news, music awareness and a lot more coming.
– Life is good, personally and musically.
Listen to Blue Amazon’s FRISKY show A-Rec: