A very successful project with the scope of the original material extended well beyond its initial ground, 10 Years Remixed is a single CD of previously unreleased remixs of Banco de Gaia's excellent 10 Years double CD retrospective. The remixers represented are a stellar crew, and although things might be a tad 'all in the family' when you have Transglobal Underground, Loop Guru and Temple of Sound all represented on the same compilation, those artists all turn in great tracks here, so no complaints.
Banco's music is almost begging for remix - simple beats, hypnotic patterns, drones, chants -- there is a world of possibility. It's the kind of source material nutters like Dreadzone and Transglobal Underground are itching to get their hands on. Future Loop Foundation double up the time on a sexy/sleepy "Celestine," digging a new groove for the sax and organ, and throwing in a harp sample that's actually cool! Old school Rhodes piano (through a wah-wah) and some additional vocal samples make this the most soulful tune on the album.
On "Heliopolis," Veloce discard the up-front house beats in favor of a rather subtle brew of electro clicks, clacks and burbles. Carbomb perform a car-jack on "Drippy," turning it into a White Zombie styled techno-metal thrasher. It's necessity here is questionable, but a bit of fun in any case.
Temple of Sound's approach to Banco's anthemic "Drunk as a Monk" takes so many liberties with the original there's barely a recognizable root. But it hardly matters. TOS abandon the mid-tempo backbeat in favor of a much groovier mix of dub and drum and bass rhythms. A recent thread on a Bhangra message board with the subject VOCODER IS RUBBISH has kind of spoiled the effect for me; none the less I admit to enjoying its use here. It's also a bit hard to locate the original track in Asian Dub Foundation vs Babu Stormz' total de-construction of "Obsidian." The original is a rather catchy woman vocal-driven trance tune, with a chant-like chorus. ADF are having none of that. They grab one word out of the vocal - 'reflections,' and bend it into their own futuristic dub obsession.
Top vote for most inspired effort on the CD goes to Zion Train for their rework of the rather staid "Shanti." This track has some of the freshest beats heard in a long time - I'd love to see it pressed as a single. It ends way too soon at four minutes twenty-two seconds, but it's a gem of a tune with heavily overlapped spoken voices, future-funk synth stabs, and some really tight percussion (swiped from "Amber"). Somehow the original's ambient, experimental vibe is kept alive amidst the introduction of all these new flavors. "I've been waiting a long time for someone like you to record this moment." Indeed.
After so much strangulation and refangulation, Transglobal Underground's more convention refix of "Amber" is all the more enjoyable. TGU essentially lay out the track and samples the same way as Banco's original, but they lean into the backbeat more - funk up the bass, add one of their patented Arabic vocal samples and voila: another outstanding remix.
It's a shame 10 Years Remixed was not picked up by Banco de Gaia's US record label Six Degrees. Understandable though, as they are focusing on the release of the new Banco album You Are Here (due this month). Fortunately you can order it direct from banco.co.uk. Highly recommended.
Lai Lah (Eat Static Kitchen Sink Remix)
Celestine (Future Loop Night Time Deluxe Foundation Remix)
Glove Puppet (Dreadzone Remix)
Sakarya (Loop Guru Fairground Strawberry Illumination Remix) (pick)
Drippy (Carbomb Remix)
Soufie (HIA Remix)
Drunk As A Monk (Temple of Sound Remix)
Heliopolis (Veloce Remix)
Obsidian (Asian Dub Foundation vs Babu Stormz Remix)
Shanti (Zion Train Remix) (pick)
Amber (Transglobal Underground Remix) (pick)
Sunspot (100th Monkey and Mr Noisy Return to Qurna Remix)