#ZTT30: Blank & Jones working on ambitious ZTT SoEighties set

Jaspa Jones (left) and Piet Blank (right) with an original Roland Jupiter 8 at work in their studio on their ZTT SoEighties project

DJs, producers, compilation curators and general eighties enthusiasts Blank & Jones are this year undertaking perhaps their most ambitious task to date.

The duo are working on a new volume of their well regarded SoEighties remix compilation series, but this one will be themed solely around ZTT releases from the classic era of the early eighties. What’s special about this project is that Trevor Horn has agreed to hand over the original multi-tracks and the pair have set about reconstructing new mixes with the self-imposed restriction of only using the original parts available from the original tapes. This will offer the freshness and excitement of a new reworking, coupled with the authenticity of a period remix.

Blank & Jones told us “This is not a new remix album like we all heard before with the songs combined with the current dancefloor sounds, but neither is it another collection of well known long versions. We are “die-hard” ZTT Fans and we’ve been almost re-building the Trevor Horn studio of the ’80s in our studio. We are buying all those old synths and effect machines as many of the original multi-tracks are ‘dry’. We can do twelve-inch mixes which sound like they were done in the ’80s, but with the advances of the technology of today. For example, the new mixes won’t have varispeed which comes from tape machines, and so they are completely mixable for DJs, but most of all we are trying do 12″ Mixes which get you excited as someone who always treasured the original mixes” 

SuperDeluxeEdition was granted a special advance listen to Relax (Blank & Jones so8os Reconstruction), a ten minute remix of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood classic and we’re pleased to report that it’s superb – everything you would hope for. It will certainly bring a big smile to the faces of Frankie fans.

Blank & Jones have just completed work on a new version of Propaganda‘s Dr. Mabuse and are currently tackling Frankie’s Two Tribes. The finished two-CD release will have a CD of these new mixes with a second disc featuring a non-stop megamix of the ZTT catalogue.

So8os Presents ZTT (Mixed & Reconstructed By Blank & Jones) will be released at the end of April 2014.


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I am really looking forward to the Two Tribes-Remix. I hope it will be in the style of the famous “Annihilation”-Mix… One of my favourite 12”-Mixes ever. I’ve been a Frankie-Fan since 1984 and it makes me happy, that there are new Mixes out there in the Wild…

[…] details on this SoEighties ZTT project can be found here. It is due for release in April […]

Scott Truelove

This will be awesome,Frankie remixes by the two people who know what REAL Frankie fans want,authentic mixes using only original parts of the mix from the day they were created! Love,love,love Frankie 12 inch versions,can’t wait to get my hands on this.

[…] So8os Presents ZTT (Mixed & Reconstructed By Blank & Jones) will be released at the end of April 2014. More details on this project can be found here. […]


I really look forward to the new mixes, as it seems the vaults are now empty of genuine alternate mixes unreleased back in the day – but I’m worried about audio quality. I am genuinely puzzled at why it’s thought to be necessary to compress so much that dynamics are all but lost… when everyone has the volume knob at home if they want louder. Some of the So80s CD’s are unlistenable. It’s not like this kind of release would have to be optimized for Ipod listening.


Lets hope they are not brick walled and also how about when they reissue artists etc they include the original stems so other people can have ago at remixing the track surely this is the way forward!.


I like that idea! Or, at the very least, make the stems available for download in a lossless format.


Piet, if you read this, and if you have the “p:Machinery” tapes…
YOU’VE GOT TO make a loooong mix in the spirit of those fabulous last 1:14 minutes, which appear at the very end of the original “Polish” 12-inch mix of the song – please! It’s kind of a reprise of the song there, with totally different (and wonderful) beats.


“rage hard” confirmed as a further songs on the b&j homepage!


sorry, i meant the b&j facebook page…


I believe that the brick-walling issue has been addressed, and the folks behind so80s are aware of the complaints. Volumes from so80s 7 and on are much less compressed dynamically than the earlier volumes.


Blank & Jones should remaster volumes 1-6 and reprint them or make them available as WAV-files for those who bought the original CD’s.

Ben Liebrand does the same: faulty tracks released on his Grand 12 Inch series are being replaced by better quality versions as WAV-files for those who bought the original CD’s, volume by volume. Terrific!


Stefano, I agree!

Paul Rymer

Very exciting, I hope the Mabuse remix is a “complete” version of the track including that incredible extended coda that was “abuse” and also on one of the mixes from a recent compilation (can’t remember which).


EXCELLENT release! Hope we get a new great ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ reconstruction which is even better than the outstanding Hot Blooded 12 inch version. And I pray for a new full orchestral extended ‘The Power Of Love’ version without all the Frankie & the guys rubbish conversation.
Very excited to hear the new ‘Dr Mabuse’.
Hope the compression will be gentle, without aweful distortion or clipping. If we want it louder, we know how to increase the volume manually, really, we do!
And Paul: this will be a perfect release for your new online store! Please offer the other Blank & Jones so80s.series too, and of course the whole ZTT box sets, deluxe editions and reissues. I’m still looking for an online store that uses the best packaging to protect the card sleeves of the CD’s, so I’m receiving them without dents or bends. If you do, i’ll be you first and everlasting customer!

Paul Kent

@James – all the other so80s CDs are on Amazon so I’d imagine this will be, too.

Scott Truelove

Currently only listed on Amazon Germany at €18.


Thank you Piet for your response. I certainly understand the issue better now! I knew the guy who was a Synclavier programmer (and representative of the UK company who imported and sold them I believe) and did the bassline of ‘Two Tribes’ which was so complex (for 1984) that it crashed the computer! True story :-)

Good luck with the project. I look forward to hearing it!


Best of both worlds! Blank and Jones so80s compilations are always excellent. They take the best parts of special 12″ versions, treat them with respect and make them sound fresh. What a great idea to make a compilation only by ZTT. Can’t wait!

Paul English

The So80s discs have improved in sound quality. So80s Volume 8 sounded reasonably good. However what I don’t understand is – how come some of your earlier releases contain CDs that are greater than 80 minutes in duration? Does that mean they don’t conform to Red Book standards?


Good luck with the Frankie material, I am particularly keen to see if you take on Pleasuredome……a track with so many layers and complex sequencers……if you do it’s gonna be a blast.


indeed, very thrilling news…. alot of hopes and doubts…
I’m always afraid of remixes that totally change the beat.
Remixes that change the feeling, with a lot of samples mixed into them.

I hope that we all get a ‘WOOOOOOOOOOOOWW’ feeling when listening :-)


as above, please do not brickwall the subtlety out of the mixes, we can play them as loud as we like, we dont need the mastering engineer to dictate that :)

Dave Kaple

Very very excited for these project, this is and will be Super and cannot wait. These guys are are awesome at what they do and with the trust of Tevor Horn, Wow!
I have all the comp’s and will be buying this as soon as it available, i am a remix junkie afterall. They are under taking an a great task and i support this 100%.

James Blair

This sounds really exciting. New mixes but using only the original sounds? Really looking forward to this!
Can anyone advise on whether this is likely to be available through amazon UK (or any other UK site)?


@ Ben: thank you for your interest in this project. it is very complicated to bring this project to the point in 2 sentences, so please excuse any misunderstanding. regarding varispeed: of course all original multi tracks are from mastertape, so they tend to run out of frame when you for example try to mix them with programms like traktor etc. what we did here, we dissected these multi parts into very small pieces and build them back again. by doing this on the computer they have no longer these vari speed symptones…probably too dj nerd and not interesting for many people, but as we mixed many 80s tracks for our so8os collections these were things that were really difficult to deal with….anyway, that is really not the main reason we are doing all this; )
we feel very honoured that we have the chance to do this project and hope that you will join us in the fun that this whole thing is bringing…we will prepare some films and sound samples in the next weeks, so that you can get better ideas of what we are doing….stay tuned.

Michiel van Bokhorst

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an upcoming release in years! I’m very jealous of you guys that you have been granted to do this and I’m looking forward to see what you have done with it. You have certainly proved in the past that you have a lot of love and respect for the originals and I believe that new old-style remixes with 21st century technology will fulfill a lot of fan wishes. If only that type of extended remix (made with only original parts) could make a comeback! I do agree with Neil (above) though, that your compilations have been a bit overcompressed at times. Please keep an eye on that… Keep up the good work, and I suppose the next step will be So80s 7.1 surround?

Scott Truelove

I couldn’t agree more!


Just beware those So8os compilations more often than not are brickwalled to hell.


I may be being particularly thick, but I have no idea what they mean by “the new mixes won’t have varispeed”. Does that mean they haven’t used varispeed to try and ‘beatmatch’ them when mixing them together, I wonder?

Rob Puricelli

I am very much looking forward to this, more so because of their commitment to only using the original material. I can’t abide certain remixes of ZTT output that smothers TCH’s exquisite production in sub bass or machine gun snares!! ;-)


sounds nice!

Jeremy Orbell

This is something I’ve wanted for years but never thought would happen. Remix albums long after the artists had their day always seemed to miss the point for me – OK, you may want to sell to a new market but if never seems to really work. What you need is to keep the spirit of the original and you’ll find that the fans will love you for it. We bought several versions back in the day so why wouldn’t we again? Bravo!

Mike the Fish

Now THAT is exciting news! I’ve never been fully satisfied with the various Mabuse remixes. I’ve got high hopes for the new one!