Sailor & I – Turn Around (Âme Remix)
The word anthem is used in music journalism to signify an extremely popular bit of music that everyone recognizes and loves. All genres and communities have a few of these monster tracks each year, songs that rejuvenate and revive even the most tired, bored, or sullen of revellers, causing them to spring up out of their comas and join their friends in pounding it out one last time on the dancefloor.
These tracks are so sublime and command so much loyalty and respect that they are often called anthems. But anthems they are not, not in the strictest sense of the word. An anthem is an emotionally rousing, uplifting, vocally punctuated song that unites a people in a common cause. And there is no doubt that in the world of deep house, Sailor & I’s “Turn Around” (Âme Remix) is the anthem of 2014.
First heard in January at the BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen, Âme’s simple and yet savagely beautiful remix of Swedish singer/producer Alexander Sjodin’s single was met with instant enthusiasm. Mano le Tough, Tale of Us, Dixon and Âme themselves played the track all over, often at the beach and under the stars. It was a repeat standout at the legendary Innervisions party at Blue Venado, and Tale of Us liked it so much they featured it in both of their official sets. It was not uncommon to hear it played twice or even three times at the same venue over the course of the day or night, and over the ensuing months, the single continued to be a staple in many high-profile sets at WMC, Movement, Sonar, and other festivals. To this day it elicits the same ecstatic audience reaction in fancy clubs and grimy dance pits alike.
Turn Around is the poster child of an electronic anthem. Slowed down from the original 141 to 123 bpm, the track is instantly recognizable even at the start of a long, gradual crossfade from the previous track. The frenetically chopped, processed and blended synth chimes are impossible to miss, and provide dramatic anticipation for the impending vocals. They are simple, steady, and relentless sounds with two perfect inflections at the end of each run, skirting the border between harmony and dissonance but falling well on the side of beauty. Âme provides a string-inspired melody (based on the original) that wafts in and out to provide emotional resonance, and the beat is notably absent for much of the track but is not particularly missed, for this track is all about singing along dramatically with a group of friends.
In fact, Turn Around’s success may well stem from the fact that its inclusion in a mix gives us a much needed moment of pause or slow reflection. Or perhaps it’s the almost hippie-like sing-a-longy, drum-circley, arm-interlocky, feel-good vibe it immediately injects into a party. Whatever the reason, it truly conjures up the spirit of the rock ballads of yesteryear that were so well-loved among our differently-instrumented ancestors. And in this sub-culture of digitally processed sounds and minimally human vocals, Turn Around reminds us of how fun it can be to stop acting cool for a moment and just rock out like a bunch of choir boys and girls going full-on airband mode.
Read the lyrics here: Sailor & I – Turn Around (Âme Remix) lyrics
See more: Âme track reviews and lyrics