A friend of mine likes to watch Free Willy after a long night of artificially induced sleeplessness. The water and waves and whale noises say in calming, deep ocean tones, “Everything is going to be all right.” Julie McKnight (wife of soul balladeer Brian) has a deep ocean tone too, and when she sings, “Morning, morning, morning won’t ever be the same” in Kings of Tomorrow’s “Finally” after you’ve been getting your dance ecstasy on all through the dark hours, it pulls you in like a rolling tide.
The mood may lull you into a deep-house sea of fearless possibility, but what keeps you there is a heavenly bassline that collides with a 4/4 beat over and over again until the song swells with classic disco orchestration. When the dreamy vocals kick in, they tell you things like “Time marches on never-ending” and “Tomorrow means nothing at all.” Time is meaningless! This means total absolution from all debased activities you’ve been participating in up to this point. You are now ready to close down the club. (The single also contains two Masters at Work remixes: the mellow “Dance Ritual edit” and the percussive “NuYorican Soul mix,” and both succumb to snoozy guitar noodling better left to CD-101.9.)
It’s no wonder then that “Finally” was the hit of this year’s Winter Music Conference. But you don’t need to be an insider who braved the Miami crush to hear it. After all, Sandy Rivera whips this stuff up in his Jersey studio. And while it’s gotten more press across the ocean than across the river, the track has also gotten its hold on plenty of cult-status DJs and their fans NYC-side: Stores keep running out of the 12-inch, McKnight performed “Finally” live several months ago at Body&Soul, and Danny Tenaglia’s banging Friday-night sets wouldn’t be the same of late without what’s become the season’s sweaty 6 a.m. mantra.