More Tales Remixed by
Incognito – reviewed by Chris Mann
June 2008, just about the time of release of ‘Tales from the Beach’ I
had the great pleasure of
Bluey and I told him I could
not stop playing the album. It’s very addictive and I should not have
been surprised that some clever mixers and DJ’s would have picked up
on these songs and turned them into serious club jams!
Of course, remixed versions of Bluey’s music are nothing new. There’s
at least one whole album of remixes out there and numerous versions
out on CD single and 12”. Crews such as Masters at Work have added
their touch to Incognito’s already groovy tunes several times.
I know that Bluey loves the club scene and he must love what these
other guys have done to his latest album.
It kicks off with Dimitri from Paris and DJ Meme remix of ‘Step Aside’
which has echoes of one of the best club records of all time – The
O’Jays ‘I Love Music’. The keys and strings are so Philly it’s just
unreal then the Incognito brass stabs bring you back to the present
day. That beat is uncompromising on Tortured Soul’s take on ‘Love Joy
Understanding’. Now, my dance music vocabulary maybe isn’t as fresh as
it could be but to me this is a good house tune. It retains the
uplifting feel of the original.
Simon Grey’s remix of one of ‘Freedom to Love’ changes the character
of the song dramatically and introduces a broken rhythm which you have
to hear a couple of times before it really grabs you. He’s put those
vocals through an effects loop and added some jazzy keyboards. There’s
an echo of an old Roy Ayers sound on Mark de Clive-Lowe’s deep, moody
mix of ‘Feel the Pressure’. The layers of keyboard and that flute high
in the mix are pure jazz-funk despite that house beat.
Long-time Incognito collaborator, Ski Oakenfull, delivers a very
tuneful and soulful mix of ‘I’ve Been Waiting’. Now, I’m still picking
up Christmas glitter from my carpet but this makes me think of summer
right away. The vocals on this tune, as you’d expect, are sublime.
There’s almost an African feel to Christian Prommer’s remix of ‘Happy
People’. Percussion is to the fore and the voices are almost lost in
the mix. If you’ve heard the original you’ll be familiar with the
lyrics and that balance won’t matter – you’ll be dancing fit to drop
Physics’ remix of ‘N.O.T.’ uses some nice percussion too and just when
I thought the song wasn’t moving right, the bassline kicked in, as did
a lovely Chic-style rhythm guitar. This is a grower – after about five
plays this still hadn’t got me, but it’s got me now! Here the vocals
are nice and high in the mix and work well over a very insistent
bassline. Ooh. My ear was really caught by DJ Day’s deeply funky mix
of ‘I Come Alive (Rimshots and Basses)’ The funk is deep with a phat
synth bass and lazy horns, almost behind the beat but not quite. Has
to be played loud – that’s an order!
The second remix of ‘Freedom to Love’ comes courtesy of Yam Who? And
the squelchy synths on here will remind you of 80’s dance anthems by
Fatback and GQ. It’s fantastic – a bit chaotic but fantastic! I’ve
never been to Ibiza but when I hear what Mystery & Matt Early did to
‘Happy People’ makes me want to go. It has a great uplifting vibe and
that uncompromising beat.
I also love what Incognito’s Francis Hylton did to ‘I Remember a
Time’. He’s kept the ballad but put a chunkier beat and bassline under
it – a line that immediately reminded me of Meli’sa Morgan’s lovely
The vibe isn’t all old-skool though: the Outside remix of ‘Tales from
the Beach’ has some vicious bass and will totally take you on a trip.
It’s so wild that some friends I played it too were visibly shocked –
and I hadn’t played them the original at that stage. Watch your
This is a great dance album which has that rare quality of revealing
things over time that you miss on first hearing. It’s got Bluey’s name
on it – it’s gonna be good…
Heads Up International – HUCD 3165 Producer