Vieux Farke Toure Remixed :: UFO's Over Bamako
Beauty never apologizes. Perhaps there is something in the graceful way in which it humbles that we excuse its tight grip around our hearts. Or perhaps we are just too paralyzed and helplessly weakened to demand reckoning that we surrender to the grasp. And then, as if we were one all along, a transformation leaves us unable to imagine existing without beauty's warm embrace. Over and over again, we find ourselves face to face with sheer magnificence, and on the story goes.
Music is the unmistakably gorgeous universal language of beauty. And when spoken, we know it instantly - an old friend returning to remind us of something we swear never again to forget. Such is the case with Vieux Farke Toure. His flawless self-titled debut marked a stunning entrance as one of the top selling world music records in the U.S. this year. Like his late father, the great blues guitarist Ali Farke Toure, the young Malian wields his unique legacy into the next generation, now with a little help from some friends on Vieux Farke Toure Remixed: UFO's Over Bamako.
Where Toure's seriously soulful record leaves the listener awe-struck, Remixed steps in and carries it to the next level. Actually, quite beyond. International music journalist/dj and author of Global Beat Fusion (and now add producer to his not-long-enough-yet-bio), Derek Beres takes the reigns on Remixed like a seasoned pro. His wide-ranging vision brings the Modiba Productions artist to the world's finest operating tables for what is essentially, quite a risky procedure. With the Toure record so incredibly perfect on its own, elective surgery could do severe damage rather than enhance. But this is definitely not the case. Even Toure himself reportedly can't seem to stop listening to Remixed. The line up, from Karsh Kale, Cheb I Sabbah to Nickodemus and Eccodek indicating Mr. Toure is in most excellent hands.
The opening track, Ex-centric Sound System's Yossi Fine's "Ma Hine Cocore (3rd Bass Remix)" starts the reeling with its earth-meets-space tranciness. The journey clearly underway and promising to be unforgettable. Next stop is Chris Annibell, who brings a crisp and lively Stevie-infusion to one of two versions of "Wousoubour." The other, hailing all the way from somewhere in the deep backwoods of a place simply known as Canada, where master-mixer Eccodek crafted his interpretation. Dripping with dub as it spirals in and out of echo-filled chambers, Eccodek's dexterity is simply infectious.
"Ana," getting a lot of radio play in its original incarnation enjoys three drastically different refractions: the destined-for-dancefloors Goonda Tribal Dub version and Modiba contest winners Captain Planet's somewhat mechanical, but still slightly grooving spin and Hisboyelroy's crushingly epic Smooth Dub.
Two of New York City's finest resident floor doctors: Nickodemus and DJ Center take "Sangare." Center's touch is instantly classic - a soft jazzy lushness fills out the track like a sunny summer afternoon where all you want to do is dance and smile. Then of course, night comes and Nickodemus takes you out under the stars where the dancing continues deep into the wee hours with his funky pied-piper turn no hips can ignore.
GlobeSonic mastermind, Fabian Alsultany mediates an alien encounter with his intergalactic shamanic "Courage (UFO's Over Bamako Remix)." Perhaps there is hope for all life to live in harmony after all - earthbound or not.
Cheb I Sabbah is to remixes what water is to tea. "Dounia (The Africa Unite Remix)" is "that song" - you know the one, as soon as you hear it, you just know you've been hearing it your whole life. In under six-minutes, he takes you through the history of humankind and beyond, weaving together a civilization of sound meant only for your body to understand.
Karsh Kale puts the record to bed, right where it started, with his signature soft skillful touch on a gentle handling of "Ma Hine Cocore." Sweetly psychedelic and eternally enchanting, Kale, like a loving father saying good night, tucks Toure in for safe keeping, but the world of dreams no match for this waking beauty.