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Natural Self feat. Elodie Rama – My Heart Beats: Remixes & Versions review

A follow-up to their recent My Heart Beats Like a Drum album, Nathanial Pearn (aka Natural Self) and Elois Rama’s songs get put through their remix paces on this excellent set from Tru Thoughts. The result makes for a brilliantly eclectic mix of styles, all of which are realised perfectly by the personnel involved.

A great example of this are the two mixes of “My Heart Beats” by Prince Fatty, otherwise known as studio genius Mike Pelanconi, whose reggae alter-ego has been popular of late for his excellent covers of classic hip-hop tunes like “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Insane In The Brain”. Here he delivers not only a pitch-perfect reggae interpretation of the original, but also a gorgeous dub that shows off his studio wizardry to the utmost – using authentic dub delays and reverbs that simply don’t get heard anymore. Another winning pair of mixes come from Jeremy Soles, who uses the cooing Cotton Club vocals of “Midnight Sun” to genius effect – creating a closely mic’d environment for the horns and jazz guitar to softly embellish the tune. They’ve even included a beatless version of Soles’ mix that really shows off the warm, live room sound achieved.

On a more contemporary tip, both Kidkanevil and Eliphino turn in grimey, post-dubstep mixes of “The Origin”, with Kidkanevil’s almost spewing out different analogue squeaks and glitches over a tough, half-stepping beat. Yult’s “Sub” mix of “The Shock You Heard” earns its title – featuring some seriously punchy bassy wobble underneath a stuttering beat. A final bonus features on the collection – a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit” by Natural Self and Rama which interpolates DJ Shadow’s “Organ Donor” at the same time. This needs to be heard to be truly understood, and is just one reason to give this collection a thorough once-over.

Oliver Keens