I came across a track from this new 2011 LP on a MOG mix done by David Byrne, which was quite eclectic and enjoyable. It peaked my interest enough to pick up the full album, and upon further listening, I’m really glad I did. For those of you that don’t already know (like me), Gil Scott-Heron was a soul/jazz/spoken word artist coming up in the 70s. He recorded an album last year titled I’m New Here. This album is a completed reworked/remixed version of that album done by Jamie Smith aka Jamie xx from the indie group XX, who I absolutely love. What I didn’t know was that Jamie is a hell of a producer/DJ/remix artist, though I probably should have after falling in love with the XX remix of Florence and the Machine, and more recently, Jamie’s remix of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. As much as I typically avoid exposure to traditional radio and Top 20, even I couldn’t avoid the constant bombardment of that Adele track. Talented voice for sure, but leave it to mainstream media to absolutely pummel a song to death.
This album is a collection of little spoken word snippits and vocals from Scott-Heron, over quite a range of electronic beats and remixes ranging from dubstep, drum and bass, and others. Some more downtempo and some upbeat. In all honesty I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the original content that drove this remix album, but the combination of this tight and imaginative producing with a raspy vocal delivery and eclectic themes make for a perfect mix. I’ll be enjoying this album all summer.
As we finish polishing up our Best Albums of 2009 Lists, it occurred to me that there are much more than albums that get us through the year. I’ll be posting a few Best of categories this year, starting with the Best Remixes of 2009
Best Remix of 2009
Au-Revoir Simone – Another Likely Story (Neon Indian Remix)
Everything Alan Palomo (Neon Indian, Vega) touches I pretty much automatically end up loving. I don’t know how he does it, but I swear he has mastered the art of making everything sound like it came directly out of a warbly VHS movie soundtrack. For some reason it always conjurs up some image of Blade Runner or something. Critics and writers everywhere are going nuts making up new terms for whatever genre Neon Indian fits into – Glo-Fi, Chill Wave, etc. I don’t care what you call it, just keep it coming.
Listen to this Neon Indian remix of Au Revoir Simone. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the original version, as a matter of fact, this remix could have worked just as well on its own. This reminds me of a backing song to an 80s sci fi movie played on a VCR with lousy tracking. It’s way harder to make something sound bad/lo-fi than it is to make it sound aesthetically pristine. Jealous.
Can’t wait to hear more from Neon Indian than the bits and pieces that I’ve seen in blogoland.