Posts Tagged ‘compilation


Various – Motown Remixed Vol 1 & 2

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.



Various – The Super Breaks Series

Do you like samples?

Not the free ones that they hand out at Costco…even though they are delicious. But the one’s that are used to back up a good song (or a bad one.) Usually they are slices of old funk or soul, usually they are the best shit you never heard, and usually they are incredibly rare and hard to locate.

Some albums do you the favor of listing where their samples came from in their liner notes…but some don’t.  So, if you’re looking for the goods it wasn’t always easy.  At least it wasn’t until books like The Sampling Dictionary, or websites like The Hip Hop Directory came out.

I’ve always said a good compilation is the best bang you can get for your buck…aside from a good mixtape. And one of the better series that came out was the Super Breaks series on the BGP (Beat Goes Public) label.  They lay down a bread crumb trail that any aspiring beat head will find easy to follow.

In the late 80’s this subsidiary of Ace records got their hands on the virtual goldmine that was the Fantasy label and began sifting through their  vaults.  The results are nothing short of stunning.

You’ll find easily recognizable tunes like Jean Jaques Perrey’s ‘E.V.A.’ used by Gangstarr for ‘Just to Get a Rep,’ or the original Linda Lyndell version of ‘What a Man’ covered by En Vogue.  The rest you may not immediately recognize…but are good enough to make you want to find out who sampled them and for what.

Besides, who wouldn’t want a good copy of William De Vaughn’s seminal pimp classic ‘Be Thankful for What You Got’ or Rufus Thomas’ ‘The Breakdown (Part 2).’ Or the stomping good time tunes of The Fatback Band’s ‘Got to Learn How to Dance’ that I must have searched forever to find. Fans of good old soul and funk will find hits galore here.

Yup, the good folks at BGP have done good work, and not just with this series.  Be on the lookout for their other collections like the ‘Acid Jazz’ series by Giles Peterson and the smooth soul crooning of ‘Sweet Taste of Sin’ as well.

It’s all good baby!  Go get em HERE!!!


Various Artists – 100% Dynamite


One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a DJ is learning about new musical genres…and by new I mean genre’s I know nothing about.

Take reggae for example.  There was a time when I knew practically nothing about it with the exception of Bob Marley.  I had no friends who knew crazy amounts of reggae or anything…so I had little options.  What to do?

It’s here that the DJ’s biggest friend, the compilation , comes in.  A good compilation record will expose you to a wide variety of artists and styles, while a bad compilation will just give you a pile of shit.

Enter Soul Jazz Records…the undisputed kings of compilations.  Browse their catalog…go ahead…I dare you.  See anything interesting?  Buy it.

Why?  Because with Soul Jazz you always get the bomb.  Be it reggae, New Orleans Funk, Soul, or Brazilian music they will not let you down.

I picked up the 100% Dynamite, a collection of stellar funk ska and soul from Jamaica back around 1999 and I never put it down. They got The Marvel’s ‘Rock Steady,’  Willie Wiliiam’s hit ‘Armageddon Time’ and my favorite track… Johnny Osborne’s “We Need Love.’ (hear below) I became obsessed and had to buy everything they put out for years before I could calm down about these guys.  The Dynamite series is now up to 600% Dynamite and I highly recommend all the volumes.

It’ll fill out your collection and your knowledge nicely.

Amazon has copies but they’re a little pricey.

Might have to go elsewhere…



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