Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness have in the past reissued a glut of avant-garde jazz pearls from the the likes of Don Cherry and have even had access to the Blue Note archives along the way. This album however sees them invite a bunch of progressive producers and remixers to have fun with some of their releases.
Four Tet for example is let loose on drumming legend Doug Hammond’s Dope of Power Suite and after a long, beatless build up switches into a winning mix of organic drums and Hammond’s heavily echoed vocal scatting. A haunting, minimal drone fills out the sound but still leaves plenty of space, with the mix as a whole reminding you of Endtroducing-era DJ Shadow.
Elsewhere, Doug Carn’s Surathal Ihklas gets remixed by the tongue-twisting Fulgeance Smartbangin’ and it’s another example of expertly arranged drums, which sound uncannily like a DJ juggling a beat over two turntables, shuffles and all. NYC producers Chin Chin have fun with a cover of Don Cherry’s Airmail, complete with a coruscating wah-wah’d guitar solo over the low-slung bass and drum groove. Blundetto’s cover of Bob James’ oft-sampled classic Nautilus is a thoroughly unexpected gem, taking every last bit of James’ polished and smooth original, and instead recreating it as a reggae jam with authentic rootsy sounds. On the same tip, Gary Bartz’s incredible Celestial Blues gets remade by the Chickenwing All Stars, almost dropping the tempo by half but still keeping that familiar sax and bass riff that’s embedded on so many jazz fans’ minds.
If you like a bit more polish though, Blackjoy’s mix has you covered – remixing the cover and tightening up the beat perfectly. Four Tet strikes again with his mix of Guerriere by Anne Wirz, this time scrambling the vocals into a million fractured pieces and creating an incredible warmth between the stuttering drums, reversed tambourine’s and endlessly sustaining vibraphobe hits.
Review: Oliver Keens