Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Regard – Ride It

Are we down, down, down, down, down?


Thomas Inskeep: Jay Sean’s original, a decade ago, is a dull R&B record. This remix/remake (which manipulates the original vocals into a different, and frankly more enjoyable key) actually moves. It may just be dancing in place, but at least it’s dancing.

Alfred Soto: In its original form “Ride It” provided Jay Sean with a hit everywhere in the world except America. Now Regard, nodding toward DNA’s epochal remix of Suzanne Vega’s a capella “Tom’s Diner,” have added sinew, coarsening it: it’s like bumping into an old friend whom steroids have turned into a Schwarzenegger muscle queen. The finger snap rhythm and sad, Windexed synths with which Mario’s “Let Me Love You” triumph got one of its last airings. Go ahead, dudes: thump thump this to death.

Ian Mathers: There’s a very good reason you can find basically the same track on YouTube from last year labelled “Jay Sean – Ride It (Regard Remix)” instead. Sean’s vocals, altered or not, are the best part of any of the “Ride It”s and while I’m sure he’s officially credited somewhere, not throwing him a “ft.” bone seems a bit crass, especially when the original was as good if not better anyway.

Scott Mildenhall: Jay Sean’s original “Ride It” is a strange beast. Listening to it on an old unofficial YouTube upload, having blanked all memory of it out — no mean feat, when the entirety of Radio 1 in 2008 is burnt on your brain — it sounds like it’s being played at the wrong speed; a distorted bootleg, just as many old unofficial uploads are. It’s therefore almost logical that in producing an actual distorted bootleg version, Regard has made “Ride It” sound more like an original than the original itself. It may be by-the-numbers, but at least they now feel like the correct numbers.

Kylo Nocom: Do you ever listen to a remix so much that the source material becomes surreal? The problem with Jay Sean’s original “Ride It” is that it confuses lethargy with sexiness. He lingers on the intimate details, but the pace drags on as if Sean is too polite to actually demand somebody to ride it. Regard understands how to meld the original track: pitched down into androgynous vocals, passing over the extraneous lyrical details, and accompanying it with a beat that actually bumps and grinds. It feels trapped in the aesthetics of 2010s Internet music culture — the pitch-shifting of vaporwave, the synth-noodling of “Resonance,” the chill dance of Majestic Casual, the rediscovery of Y2K pop via Twitter feeds. Yeah, sure, Regard probably didn’t consciously note any of those, but is there any other way to explain how this kind of song could blow up in 2019?

Katherine St Asaph: I guess, given that there’s a recession coming any day now, we’re due another appearance by Mr. Down Like the Economy. (Yes, I know that’s Wayne.) The original was soulless and melancholy; this is soulless and melancholy in an entirely different way, one you can probably imagine if you’ve heard a Weeknd song in the past five years.

Will Adams: Le Youth already ran the gimmick of pitch-shifting R&B hits of yore into H&M-house years ago; must we keep retreading this ground? The horrendously cheap lead synth seems determined to make sure this is DOA.

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