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2022 – Lost and Looking (Cosmodelica Remix)

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

"The original is in half-time with no drums, so there was a lot of freedom for interpretation. (ed.)"
Colleen, Le visiteur interview, 17/01/2022

Collen and Lady Blackbird lp

A Soul. That’s how one can receive Lady Blackbird’s voice. Something so articulate that you can hear every nuance, every note’s birth and death (the audiophiles out there know that the information contained in the ending sound of a note, be it played or sung, is priceless).

“Lost and Looking” (appearing on Blackbird's album "Black acid soul" issued in September 2021) received the “Cosmodelica” treatment in the wake of 2022 by Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and was then issued on vinyl a few months later, in June, on the “Foundation Music” record label (ref: FMPLB 001). In a lengthy interview for “Le Visiteur” (that you can read here), Colleen explained :

I discovered Lady Blackbird through my friend Ashley Beedle’s remix of ‘Beware the Stranger’, which was my favourite dance record of 2020. I was absolutely astounded when I heard her voice – raw, visceral, and technically perfect. She quickly became one of my favourite contemporary voices and I asked her manager Ross Allen if I could do a remix and voila!

But the story wouldn’t be complete without listening to the original song. It is an absolutely Lonely and "lost" piece of music (somewhat close in its structure to Sam Cooke's original version on his 1963 Night Beats album – tonality aside, of course). Lady Blackbird's voice is very upfront in the mix. The music, on the contrary, is very light, almost acting like a drawing that could not keep its reality on a blackboard... It’s a very evanescent track, and Blackbird’s slightly worried singing adds to that darkish atmosphere. She is searching for the one she loves.

Colleen’s take on the song is different. Rhythmically, of course, there’s no denying as she explained it to “Le visiteur” :

Well, the original is in half time with no drums, so there was a lot of freedom for interpretation. I double-timed it and was inspired to go for a swamp-funk, dubby-electronic sound and started with the bassline. From there it was relatively easy. It’s my new rule to only take on remixes for which I immediately hear an idea for and this one was no exception.

But, philosophically, the approach is different too. While Lady Blackbird was searching for her lover in the night (I prefer the night pictured in Sam Cooke’s version, it has an open tone that allows you to see the sky, and we gradually lose that as the versions go by;-)), Colleen presents a more desperate, urgent, somewhat “primal” and visceral take, rejoining her perception of Lady Blackbird’s voice. In this version of the song, the woman is crying her heart out without an ounce of hope. Still, Colleen manages to keep the “evanescent” spirit of the track alive, so we have the musical background slowly building up and then disappearing in the echo of Lady Blackbird’s voice. I let you listen to the track and identify how this new version has been structured (or head over here if you don't feel like, well, searching)!

Colleen played the remixed version of “Lost and Looking” on Balearic Breakfast, and the remix even hit the 5th spot of the top 50 furtive tracks of 2022 poll that was organised by the DJ History website.

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