Revolution baby

by

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If you were a hip musician in need of a remix artist, wouldn’t you look for someone who made smooth, funky rhythms out of found sound clips? It’s no secret Fila Brazillia became one of Europe’s most astoundingly popular remixers because FB’s own output uses rare groove classics (read: obscure funk and Motown sounds) to sculpt danceably modern but downtempo acid jazz.

In true remix fashion, the tracks assembled here put Fila B’s unique stamp and sound on a wide variety of artists’ works, while maintaining a good bit of the spirit of the originals. So even though the guitar riff-heavy Euphoria or the very worldbeat Robin Jones tracks might appear out of place on a compilation including Radiohead, DJ Food, the Orb and Mixmaster Morris (à la Irresistible Force), they all find shelter and community in this unique remixland.

Perhaps just as importantly, these two discs don’t fall apart: The tracks not only hang together, they practically remix each other. With no break or lead-in between tracks, each disc is often more composition than compilation. And while both are crammed with a breadth of aural expression, the first CD is the more sensual, made up of premeditated abstract grooves, with the second built to hold a short attention span longer, with greater emphasis on danceability, transcendence and a faster overall tempo.

This collection convincingly juggles idioms of breakbeat, R&B, samba, reggae and grit-rock without breaking a sweat. With a long look toward a hybrid future, these two CDs are a declaration about the state of the musical union, ca. ‘95-’99, as interpreted by one of the most eccentric and accomplished remix acts around. And they’re fun!

Why only four stars, then? For five, find an original Fila B CD

Marc Christensen writes about books and music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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