Friday, 30 November 2012

York 'O.T.B. (On The Beach)'

Chart Peak: 4

York first burst into the European Club charts with debut single 'The Awakening'. Follow-up 'On The Beach' mirrored the success of its predecessor when it leapt into the UK Top 10 in June 2000... The track is based on Chris Rea's 1980s classic of the same name.
"Based on" is, if anything, an understatement: 'OTB' is essentially an instrumental cover of the Rea song: Rea even showed up on TotP with them, although it's not him playing on the record but rather Jörg Stenzel, who teamed up with his older brother Torsten (already a seasoned trance producer in Germany) to form this duo. Whilst Rea's MOR image seemed out of place at the time, and his pursuit of more authentic blues sounds since even more so, with hindsight he is sometimes credited with (accidentally) creating the Balearic dance sound and when you think about it, the ringing but mellow lead guitar part he originally recorded back in 1986 (and re-recorded to greater success in 1988) actually conjures the atmosphere rather well. In the right hands, a dance reworking of this has definite potential, although unfortunately in the hands of the Stenzel brothers and remixer Mauro Picotto it's not all that well realised. Yes, we get a good reproduction of the riff but there's not really enough else going on for the general listener, just some fairly generic beats and a session singer intoning the title a few times lest we forget which song this is. I appreciate it probably sounded better in a club context but I feel that once these tracks escape into the wider world of the Top 40 or Now! albums, they have to be assessed on their own merits. 
In fairness, were I awarding star ratings, I'd probably bung this an extra one to make up for the fact that I'm listening to such an obvious summer song in the depths of winter. But only one. 

Available on: Ministry Of Sound Presents The Beach [Explicit]

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