Since January Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, has filled a Soundcloud account attributed to user18081971 with nearly 300 previously unreleased tracks and remixes. Late last month he dropped a remix of “I Want to Be With You,” a decades-old Chicago house track credited to Street Side Boyz. On the extended edit James removes the original’s sensual, snarling vocals and darkens its late-night thump—the shuddering synths and needle-sharp hi-hats take on a monstrous form.
Eager to hear more about the original I reached out to some of the members credited with writing and producing it, 80s house outfit Master C&J. I contacted Carl Bias first, though he was unable to remember the track. Producer and vocalist Jessie Jones finally filled me in over the weekend via a Facebook message chain: Master C&J member Edward “Get Down” Crosby had made the track without the rest of the group, which also included singer Liz Torres. “Me or Liz did not sing on that track,” Jones wrote me. “Edward sample [sic] his voice and his female friend.”
I tried reaching out to Crosby a couple weeks ago, though I ran into some dead ends. I managed to find a phone number for the offices of Prayze Cafe Radio, which is a business that provides audio-engineering services, operates an advertising agency, and also hosts a weekly radio show on gospel station WBGX called Gospel Music Mix; according to Prayze Cafe Radio’s site the radio show features Ed “Get Down” Crosby. After I reached a Prayze Cafe representative to request an interview—and after I was asked if I would be providing compensation, to which I responded “absolutely not”—I was told Crosby wasn’t interested in speaking with me and would not confirm or deny that he had a hand in making the track.
Still, I wanted to learn a little more about “I Want to Be With You,” since I’m still missing some concrete details. Pitchfork and Fact both wrote that the single came out in 1988, which is also listed on the record’s Discogs page, but the photos of the hub label don’t included the year of its release. For a little more info I decided to reach out to Dance Mania co-owner Ray Barney; his old record shop, Barney’s Records, is listed as a distributor on the LP’s center label. “I distributed so many records, I don’t remember them all,” Barney says. “That’s one I don’t remember.”
My grasp of the details behind “I Want to Be With You” is fairly weak, but the experience of hearing and enjoying the Aphex Twin remix have made my appreciation for the song grow. It’s clear James is a fan, too. One of the few comments he left on the Soundcloud song under the user18081971 account was in response to an effusive remark from a fan of the original. James concurred: “yep, i just really wanted to do another version :)” Listen to both versions of “I Want to Be With You” below, it’s today’s 12 O’Clock Track.