This article is the English version of the Greek article
translated in English by TINA REFENES
It is the year 2000. It’s the period when the internet begins to settle into our lives, but without the variety of social media available today, and of course no YouTube, (it was established in 2005).
It’s a time when great changes occur in the music field and downloading comes into our lives with the MP3, bringing with it singles and albums in a digital form, and all music lovers are ecstatic with this new era.
Until then, we had to buy the corresponding vinyl, cassette or CD of any song we wanted to own. Of course there was always the possibility of a friend already having a copy (which they either bought or had copied by another friend), and they would very kindly record it onto a cassette for us! And this is somewhat how our relationship with music was determined. With the MP3 everything changes. You could now have any number of singles and albums not on a vinyl disc, cassette or CD, but stored on other devices such as floppy discs and CD-R in the beginning, followed by the USB stick and then the various Cloud, etc.
During this period then, like a magical genie, peer-to-peer (P2P) networking applications appear in our lives enabling 2 or more computers, located anywhere in the world, to link and share files (mainly musical), and if you are wondering “What’s this!” Let me mention three online services and you will understand what we are talking about: Napster, AudioGalaxy & Kazaa.
The most popular P2P sites that enchanted us at the beginning of the century
Through the P2P sites, you could now obtain singles and albums in a digital format that someone in another part of the planet had made available for “sharing”, and if you so wished, you could share any of your own music files simultaneously.
It felt like a magical world had opened up before you! I remember when I was first told how Napster worked, I was amazed. I downloaded it immediately and began to search amongst countless songs made available by users, to find tracks that had not been released in Greece, as there was no other way of finding them until now, (remember YouTube did not exist). What made me so enthusiastic was the fact that I was able to find rare remixes of my favourite songs, unavailable to me until then, either because they had not been released by a Greek recording company, or being amateur productions they had not been released at all. Also the thought of someone sitting alone and lovingly creating a remix enchanted me, plus the fact that I could integrate them into my music sets, (recorded on cassettes in those days) which I made for my friends and our parties, was an added bonus.
That year finds Despina Vandi releasing “Ipofero”, with music and lyrics by Phoebus, which time proves as one of her biggest successes. (The song was included on a CD single of the same title, which received a Platinum award 6 times!).
The CD single “Ipofero”
The song was heard everywhere and many DJs were mixing it with “Insomnia” as both songs had several similarities in sound and the mix proved to be very popular with the club’s regulars.
It was a matter of time before an amateur remix of “Ipofero” as a mashup with “Insomnia” would spread through the P2P networks and I remember when I found it on Napster I was crazily pleased as it was very well made technically, but in those days the sound on amateur music files was of “poor” quality and not equal to that achieved by studio producers.
Despina Vandi / Faithless
This song had become one of my favourites and has never left my playlist as Maxi Jazz’s well known phrases “I can’t get no sleep” and “Insomnia” match so well with Despina’s voice.
In 2005, searching the worldwide online record stores for new releases, I fell upon a very strange release from England! It was a production of a 12″ EP (Extended Play) vinyl, titled : Faithless “The Remixes Vol. 1” containing 4 remixes, one of which caught my immediate attention!
Both sides of the vinyl
The song was called “Mawahh” and the singers were shown as Faithless vs Despina Jandi!
This extended play vinyl was widely available on all internet record stores and at quite a high price I remember. I wasn’t discouraged though and I bought it immediately. Whilst waiting for my disc and being curious to see what this “Mawahh” was all about, and to hear whether Despina Jandi was Despina Vandi, I searched other sites providing an audio sample.
Finally I succeeded in finding one and perceived that it was indeed “Ipofero” mixed with “Insomnia”, and it was very similar to that amateur remix which I loved so much some years ago.
I received the disc and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Vandi was included in one of Faithless’ collections? Unbelievable!
And yes! This “Mawahh” was the same remix I mentioned above, which circulated on P2P sites back then, but now of a much better quality.
The intervening years from 2003 when Despina Vandi released “Gia” – which swept through the world’s charts becoming an international hit, (she even appeared on the famous British Top of the Pops to perform her song) – to 2005, saw Despina release “Opa Opa” and “Come Along Now”, both singles becoming very successful throughout Europe. It is worth noting that “Gia” managed to conquer the USA, climbing to No.1 on America’s Billboard Hot Dance Airplay on the 31st January 2004.
“Gia” conquers Billboard on the 31st January 2004!
The vinyl was not released by Faithless’ record company but it’s what we call a “no label” with the code FAITH O1. This rare vinyl was released on the 21st July 2005, one day before Despina Vandi’s birthday!
How this remix found its way onto “The Remixes Vol. 1” vinyl by Faithless and why Despina Vandi is shown as Despina Jandi, and why the song is called “Mawahh”, is unknown. It may be that the name was a printing error or maybe it was done intentionally so as not to cause any problems with Despinas record company. I believe I have been able to decipher the riddle of “Mawahh” though! It derives from the phrase in Despina’s song, “MA EGOOOOO sagabo, sagabo, sagabo…” and “MAWAHH” is simply how the makers of the vinyl heard “MA EGOOOOO” .
I have uploaded the track to YouTube from my vinyl, and I am sharing it with you for the first time! And I am dancing to it again!
FAITHLESS vs DESPINA JANDI (VANDI) – “MAWAHH”
Me with the rare vinyl in hand!