A Love Requited – The Remixes EP
First World Records
Maybe there’s something in the fact that Myele Manzanza is a drummer – I mean first and foremost (he’s a DJ, producer, beatmaker, bandleader…) – but there’s just something, outside of an accessibility, that lends his tunes to being remixed. So much so that here on this remix EP we get the bold flavours of each distinct remixer. But we still hear and feel Myele. His fingerprints remain. His actual playing remains of course.
But where A Love Requited (an album I really loved) was its own thing, expansive and full of strong individual compositions that supported an overarching theme, these bite-sized remixes stand out on their own; we hear them anew. It’s as if the boss has returned to being a sideman, handed over his baby to foster parents, arranged some sort of equal-care platform. Acknowledging the musical village it can take to raise some tunes.
So on opener, Itaru’s Phone Booth, we have Theo Parrish’s cool style allowing the song to build and build, his trademark kick drum feels coming out and bringing with them a deeper soul to this track.
Mark de Clive-Lowe’s re-take on Big Deal is all funk fiesta – a carnival of percussion, a sinewy bass-line being shadowed by first some keyboard fuzz and then a sly fug of horns.
Darkhouse Family (Don Leisure and Earl Jeffers) slow things down for Family Dynamics – all late-night boom-bap with a touch of Prince’s b-sides from around his Camille/Black Album, post-Sign times.
Pencarrow, one of the highlights of the original album, is given further drum oomph by Borrowed CS (no real surprise there as Corey, like Myele, is drummer turned producer and beatmaker) before the synth-squelch of liquid basslines caress and carry the tune.
It’s a great EP of standalone remixes; brand new conversations gathered around familiar topics. I like that, in keeping with the original album’s motivations and themes, the workers here are all friends and ‘family’, label-mates, sometimes band-mates, collaborators, soul brothers.
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