Not everything goes well together.
I used to have a writing class sitting next to an odd girl with badly self cut bangs and Egyptian style eye make up who. often took to wearing a bright orange jumpsuit. She asked me if I wanted to come to her art performance once.
“What kind of performance?’ I asked.
She explained that she would be stripping naked and throwing herself on broken light bulbs whilst screaming.
I declined. She was acting particularly odd that day, swinging her head from side to side and squirming in her seat and I asked her if she was okay.
“Oh, yeah…” she trailed off, staring into space “I smoked crack and speed before I came to class. I like the combination”
I laughed at first, before realizing that she wasn’t joking. But for many years, most of the major record labels made a similar mistake.
It wasn’t until the nineties that the concept of the remix album appeared, probably because the whole concept arose from the newly emerged genres of Hip Hop and Electronic. And like most things that are just getting started, there were a lot of mistakes made and a lot of crummy dance remixes made. Most boiled down to the fact that the people picking the original source music and the remixers to go with it didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. This lasted until around 2002 , when like a revelation from above the first of the Verve Remixed series was released.
What set it apart from similar projects was the pure genius of the formula. Take timeless classic music, and match it up with producers who love it. In an industry where taste is usually not looked upon favorably, this was something new, which brings us to the newest contestant in the remix world, “Motown Remixed Vol 1 & 2.”
The Motown Remixed Vol 1 was released to rave reviews in 2005, using the same surefire formula. Why wouldn’t the hits of Motown be even more fucking awesome if given over to the same hip hop producers who had been listening to and sampling it for years? It was a great record and a staple for any party I played at the time. But the hip hop/soul combo seemed almost too easy…which is why I was so blown away by Volume 2.
This time…Motown took a little trip to Miami.
Gone are the hip hop or house beats, replaced by the frenetic sound of salsa. And for music that was already made for parties, adding the latin element just seems to crank the energy up to 11. The real standout here is the Miami Mix of the Jackson 5′s ‘Dancing Machine’ which you’ll find below. It practically grabs you by the shoulders and kicks you ass onto the dance floor.
Other notable reworkings are the Jr Walker All Stars classic ‘Shotgun’ remixed by Los Amigos Invisibles, which really draws out the funk nicely, and the amazing version of Smokey Robinson’s ‘Being With You’… remixed by Eric Bodi Rivera and reunited with Smokey’s spanish language vocals (I had no idea he had done this until now), now called ‘Aqui Con Tigo.’ Pure magic.
Check out the official site HERE to listen to the whole album. It’s really something else.
So if you like Motown (even if you’re a purist) and you like a little latin in your party, grab this for your collection. It’s two great tastes that taste great together.