Artist: Daptone Records
Record label: Daptone Records/ Scion
Daptone Records single-handedly re-energized 60s soul music with their nostalgic sound and funky sensibility. And in a day and age where the digitalization of music is ever-present, the label's stock is rising... quickly. Daptone Records Remixed exemplifies the balance between the Daptone roster's original compositions and the stand-in collaborator's own interpretation with updated sound effects, drum machines, and VST plug-ins applied.
Daptone Records Remixed is a dual-disc promotional release full of nine tracks from the likes of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Budos Band, The Sugarman Three & Co., and The Daktaris (on the second disc). Corresponding with each track on the first disc is a remix of the same track, including reworking from DJ Spinna, Mark Ronson, Bull Jun, Hank Shocklee, Ticklah, Mad Professor, Kenny Dope, Cool Calm Pete, and the Afrodisiac Sound System. Now onto the review!
The Budos Band starts it off with a brilliant horn-heavy joint, "Chicago Falcon." The song glides throughout, transitioning with simple, coordinated instrumentation that brings the whole band together like Voltron. On the remix flip, Mark Ronson does well with rehashing the track, keeping the melodies in tact. Likewise, Wale, the up-and-coming emcee signed to Ronson's Allido Records puts down an incredible two verses. His lyricism is sharp, poignant and humorous (editor's note: the Seinfeld references are brilliant).
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, the label's flagship group, are featured most frequently on this project. "Stranded In Your Love" is a slow, emotive ballad that touches on the pain involved with loving someone. The remix courtesy of Cool Calm Pete showcases a long list of "give me back my ..." things, a common circumstance that cements a separation between partners. The tempo changes quickly as The Sugarman Three & Co. take a funky break-heavy joint and dismantle any balladry left in your system. The Afrodisiac Sound System's reinterpretation follows suit, chopping up the drum break and adding a touch of electro into the mix. Luckily, the "UHHH" ad libs remain and the joint is truly done proper justice.
The shortcomings on the double-disc are few and far between since so much variety is present on the compilation. Whether the syrup-y love songs, frenetic funk, or boom-bap backdrops are more up your alley, something is likely to catch your ear. Even more, the soul music renaissance of late will continue to flourish as listeners have even more opportunity to embark upon something fresh and exciting.
* Shouts to Scion for presenting the sampler. It is number 19 in their list of recent promotional releases... and thankfully, they actually employ good taste! No, really! *