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Mates’ Crates: Pulse – Showdown

Mates’ Crates, a series headed up by our friend Andrei Sandu, dives into the tales behind records and digs deeper into our connections to music. This time, guest writer Georgiana LD – host of The Why Aren’t You Listening Show – shares her lifeline track, ‘Showdown’ by Pulse.

Year: 1985 | Label: Qwest | Discogs: Various Artists – Fast Forward (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The first time I heard ‘Showdown’ by Pulse was when it snuck up on me in a 2018 Palms Trax set. The pent-up energy accumulated by the preceding high-octane tracks exploded at the 22-minute mark, bursting the euphoric tension that had swelled within me. This song changed everything. Pulse became my lifeline.

I was working in my second job in Berlin, which was making me desperately unhappy. I had signed the contract with high hopes, excited for the career growth it promised. So, I was surprised when on my first day I was handed a flimsy headset along with a sheet of paper detailing cold calling targets.

I picked up the paper, trying desperately to locate my illustrious career in the barren words in front of me, as a cold, shaking fear settled in. Soon I would wake up every morning crying into my pillow. I became a bundle of anxiety at evening social gatherings, knowing that I would soon have to to sleep, then wake up to battle another day at my desk. For someone who craves creative fulfilment and variety, I was in a personal hell.

This is when ‘Showdown’ entered the picture, and I started feeling a spark of hope. Listening to ‘Showdown’ felt like drinking from a secret life-giving chalice that washed away my angst and imbued life with a heady, dripping saturation. With every listen, my despair was slowly replaced with delicate joy.  The song’s magic is almost ineffable.

When the chorus hits, it makes me feel completely and utterly alive. Every time I listened and listen to this song, it never fails to deliver an intoxicating high. If I need motivation – I listen to ‘Showdown’. If I need consolation – I listen to ‘Showdown’. If I need inspiration – I listen to ‘Showdown’. It makes me want to grab you, the reader, shake you hard and scream, “Wake up! Wake up and live your life because you only have this one chance at it and it is bloody incredible!”

This new power eventually led me to walk into work on the first day of the new decade, resignation letter in hand, and quit. What is life when its protagonist is only a passive participant? It is pretty bizarre that a cheesy ‘80s number from an unknown dance film (with reviews ranging from “you have no choice but to love it” to “very bad movie….and I mean, VERY BAD”) had such a visceral effect on me, but it’s the truth.

Produced by Studio 54 resident John “Jellybean” Benitez (an early attendee of David Mancuso’s Loft parties and also responsible for Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘Love Will Save The Day’), ‘Showdown’ reminded me of  the power within. Music, literature, art can all trigger a landslide of emotions, activate a burning desire to do better and be better, and inspire you to grab life by the horns.

Listen to Georgiana’s The Why Aren’t You Listening Show here.

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