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“For You” was a melancholic highlight from Michael Mayer’s 2016 album &, thanks in large part to Joe Goddard’s doleful vocal turn. It’s a song about good intentions and lousy follow-through: “I was working so hard to make it/A special day,” Goddard sings before admitting, shamefacedly: “I forgot to take the time.” Mayer has long held that he and his Kompakt label mates are “pro-sadness on the dancefloor,” and “For You,” perfected his favored strain of bittersweet disco.
Now DJ Koze’s remix of the song takes it to an even more wistful, affecting place. With the exception of some swelling strings and Goddard’s vocals, Koze’s mix largely starts from scratch, replacing Mayer’s sleek disco-pop with a plucked mbira melody and a loping drum groove of shakers and toms. As the song builds, he fills it in with all manner of small, squiggly sounds: high-pitched spaceship noises, irregular bursts of scratchy tone, and a muted clarinet melody with a timbre that neatly mirrors Goddard’s slightly nasal singing voice. Koze’s arrangement makes the most of Goddard’s lyrics, saving his unexpected confession—“There’s a part of me/I don’t like to talk about/But I will”—for the song’s emotional climax. Rendered in cool falsetto and raindrop-like thumb-piano notes, it’s wonderfully cathartic—as refreshing as a dip in a cold stream.Share