Hear it again for the first time, today’s top DJ’s and producers remix classic tracks from Motown
“Top” DJ’s eh?…
Well let’s just see how these alchemists fared at adding drum loops over krusty records?
Up first, DJ Z-Trip’s remix of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. Sounds like he might have been given access to some studio outtakes. There’s some recording studio conversation in there. They already get a point off for cheating. Sounds pretty damned funky though. The extra percussion tracks brings some nasty headnod out of the bass line. Yeah, shit I couldn’t front on this if I wanted to.
Next up, Gladys Knight’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” chopped up by the Randy Watson Experience. Who the hell is Randy Watson, you ask? I don’t know either. One thing’s for sure, he was getting his cut and paste on in an ACID session. Doesn’t really sound like he did much of shit except loop the intro and throw a real goofy sounding Clyde Stubblefield drum sample over a song that was already hella soulful. Ehhhh?…They could have done better…
Next, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” is remixed by the frighteningly titled production team…”da producers”. Seems like a recipe for disaster until the opening chords strike. The song begins with what sounds like a Fender Rhodes replacing the fmailira guitar licks. The effect, however is two-fold. They succeed in making a super-sexy song even sexier, but they also manage to steal a little funk from it, leaving it at times sounding like an easy listening version.
Next is Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed and Delivered” cut up by DJ Smash. Mr. Smash does an excellent job of echoing the big energy of the original composition with a small arrangement of instruments. He peeled the layers off of this classic to leave a fresh funk skeleton. Props for taking the minimalist’s road to the essence of the song.
Now we revisit a revisiting of the Jackson 5, as Salaam Remi tries his hand at revitalizing their hit “ABC”. All I can say is DAMN! He flipped this too right. He’s reworked a sixties be-bop ditty into a funk ballad that David Banner and Sly Stone could have collabed over. Shit, I have a good feeling that all other songs on this disc will pale in comparison. I’m almost mad it ended. All its missing is a Ludacris verse.
All right, next up is “I Just Want to Celebrate” by…The Rare Earth. Color me nervous. If I’m not mistaken, they were the crossover Negroes of the era. Let’s see how my cultural memory has held up. Remixed by MoceanWorker by the way. And as I suspected this song is f*ckin’ awful. It sounds like the Brothers Johnson trying to do WAR, with Eddie Van Halen on lead guitar…and DJ Scratch-and-Sniff on the cut. Boo-Boo I say!
I damned near quit after that last one, but I peeped DJ Jazzy Jeff up next. And in case you didn’t know, DJ Jazzy Jeff cannot be f*cked with. Yes, my friends, he is Unf*ckwithable. Here he remixes “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations. The intro drags a bit, and by the time the song actually starts I fear I may have put my foot in my mouth. It doesn’t really sound like he did shit except add some keys. Some flanged keys at that. As much as I respect the Jazzy one, this track may have been too high of a mountain to climb. This joint comes off a little drowsy compared to the original…
They’d better pick it up here if they know what’s good for ’em. Luckily they’ve got a bangin ass song to work with this time. It’s “Quiet Storm” from Smokey Robinson, remixed by the Groove Boutique. For all the beatheads out there, the original was used in the creation of De La Soul’s “Breakadawn”. Okay so despite their cornball ass title, Groove Boutiquers David Baron and Rafe Gomez freak this track something lovely. They use new key and string arrangements to unearth chords buried in the composition that may not even have occurred to the original songwriters. This is fresh shit.
Excellent recovery, people. What’s next? “My World is Empty Without You” by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Remixed by Lionel Sanchez Jr. Well it better damned well be good, or I’ll skip back to the last track. OhMyGod….this is the boringest shit I have ever heard. I actively avoid music like this. Next.
Oh Shit, “Just My Imagination” by the Temptations, remixed by Easy Mo Bee. Hot Shit! Oh yeah, it’s making me make the funk face. The nod factor is retarded on here. I knew Mo Bee was raw, but I ain’t know he had shit like this in him. Not really repeatable from the lack of change-ups, but definitely a sweet little something to put on your next mixtape to your girlfriend
Next up, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by The Undisputed Truth, remixed by FUTURESHOCK. Don’t know who the remixer is but the liner notes say Shocklee Productions which means it could be Hank or Keith Shocklee from the Bomb Squad. Doesn’t sound like it though, drums ain’t heavy enough. It’s a slick little track. Sounds like they added some live guitars and new drums, not sure if the result is better than the original however. Doesn’t really do it for me.
okay, I don’t even really wanna do this anymore, this CD is putting me to sleep. Cmon y’all bring it home. Next up is “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson, remixed by…Hotsnax. With a name like hotsnax they better be bangin’. I like the idea. They toy with the lead instrumentation and create a hyper acid-bop soundscape. Sounds like it could be on the new Willy Wonka soundtrack. Great energy, a tad annoying at times, though.
alright y’all. The almighty DJ Spinna’s up next. Remixing “Keep on Trucking” by Eddie Kendricks. And I KNOW DJ Spinna’s gonna do me right, right? Dope so far, drum rolls and bass lines flirt back and forth real suggestive like, and they fit under the vocals so well that it’s hard to tell what’s new and what’s old. He may have been a bit too ambitious. Seems more like a remake than a remix. Dope though….
Finally, we’ve got “WAR” by Edwin Starr remixed by King Britt. Now I know about this Britt guy, he’ll either give you a fresh innovative composition or some ol throwaway dancey shit. Being that it’s a remix it was almost certain that he was gonna cop out for the latter. Blah…
Bonus Track- “Mary Jane” by Rick James remixed by DJ Green Lantern: Weird.
I was gonna give you a big summarizing paragraph at the end, but I’m tired of dealing with this disc, even though its somewhat pleasing…
Overall Score: 6/10
Buy if you like CD’s that are rated at a 6/10.