Beat Me Blue

Pepe Deluxé – Woman In Blue [Catskills]

A clutch of enviably attractive, impeccably dressed-down American youths pull up to a service station whereupon they alight and get busy twisting their limbs in unlikely configurations to an off-kilter big beat soundtrack.

Revisiting the 2001 advert today it strikes me that Levi’s performed some pretty ruthless butchery in their admirable attempt to include the full development of the tune in question – a truly inspired choice for their then new Twisted range all the same. Leaning heavily on pop and TV theme master Tony Hatch’s ‘Sounds of the Seventies’, an instrumental with its own space-age association, ‘Woman In Blue’ is shot through with that brilliantly warped, hyped-up hip hop take on easy listening that saw big beat, personified by the likes of Fatboy Slim, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Propellerheads, leap from Brighton’s clubs and belly flop the hit parade in the late 90s.

Pepe Deluxé were a Finnish production duo (indeed they still are, persisting in their craft of quality tuneage with a lineup that has fluctuated somewhat over the years) but their sound then was a perfect fit for Brightonian label Catskills. Unfortunately, much of their debut album had to be fudged or rerecorded following a scourge of sample clearance issues, so it transpires that what we were actually hearing as a backing to the denimed delinquents’ dextrous distortions was ‘Before You Leave’, a near identical number with an inferior vocal sample. Tread carefully.

‘Woman In Blue’ was released as a 12″ and featured on the original incarnation of Pepe Deluxé’s Super Sound [Catskills Records]; also turning up on several Catskills samplers and Various Artists chill out compilations.

‘Before You Leave’ takes its place as track two on the rereleased Super Sound [Catskills Records].

‘Sounds of the Seventies’ by Tony Hatch features on The Best of Tony Hatch & His Orchestra [Sequel Records] and Various Artist compilations Breakdown – Funky Beats, Jazzy Breaks & Soulful Samples [Castle Music] and Dig the Slowness [Discotheque].

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