Maceo Plex Reignites Faithless’ Global Hit with 'Insomnia 2021'

2 min read

Maceo Plex Reignites Faithless’ Global Hit with 'Insomnia 2021'

While much of the world recently celebrated another holiday season, the dance music community mourned. December 23, 2022, was marked by the devastating news of Faithless co-founder Maxi Jazz’s peaceful passing at age 65.

The British singer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter first made himself known in the 80s club scene, DJing on pirate radio. His first group, Maxi Jazz and the Soul Food Café System, blended hip-hop with funk. He took that sound further when he formed Faithless with keyboardist Sister Bliss, singer Jamie Catto, and producer Rollo in 1995. Their hypnotic rhythms and his unmistakable vocal grew to levels of international acclaim as tracks like “God Is A DJ” became worldwide hits and pioneered dance group sounds.

Faithless - Insomnia 2021 (Maceo Plex Epic Mix)

The generational talent of Maxi Jazz and Faithless left waves of impact still felt by artists today. Today, we reflect on that impact by sharing Maceo Plex’s contemporary reimagining of Faithless’ globally recognized tune, “Insomnia.”

“Insomnia 2021” rewrites an anthem with a truly raucous twist. Maxi’s original vocals still command the will of the listener, only now warped with an ominous energy courtesy of Maceo Plex’s techno-tilted proclivities. Pounding percussion trades hits with jagged synths turning this tune into a spine-tingling carnal cut that will send even the most timid of dancers into a tizzy.

The passing of Maxi Jazz spurred a deluge of commemoration by artists and fans, including Armin van Buuren, Pete Tong, Boy George, and countless others. Jazz’s musical output and appetite spanned an impressive spectrum that only contributed to the scope of his reach in music. Hip-hop, however, was his first real muse.

In a 2017 interview, Maxi recalled, “When I discovered hip-hop, particularly Straight Out The Jungle by The Jungle Brothers, I realized I could make hip-hop, too, and write lyrics. Mike D and Afrika Bambaataa… their lyrics are playful, funny, intelligent and wise, and all that stuff I realized I could do. I realized there was a niche I could at the very least pop my toe into.”

Maxi Jazz is no longer with us, but his influence on music as we know it will not soon be forgotten.

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