Music News

Various artists

When drawn from an oeuvre as iconic as Motown, the remodels included on this new disc, Motown Remixed 2, are to be unavoidably compared/contrasted with the original source material. To older folk who danced and fell in love to these songs in their heyday, remixes of classics might seem like blasphemy (shudder). But taken on its own contempo-dance-floor merits, Remixed is actually lots of fun. Jr. Walker & the All-Stars rough-hewn rave-up ¨Shotgun¨ gets a percolating Afro-Cuban rock revamp (with stinging guitar -- think primo ´70s Santana) via Los Amigos Invisibles. Courtesy of David Elizondo, Martha & the Vandellas´ rousing ¨Heat Wave¨ rides over a tantalizing, fractured, cha-cha-like rhythm matrix (recalling Style Council, oddly enough) and the Temptations´ ¨Papa Was a Rolling Stone¨ is alluringly stripped to its (vocal) essentials. Marvin Gaye´s ¨Heard It Through the Grapevine¨ receives a dubbed-out elongation/deconstruction that would be even better if it were extended. Not everything works, though -- SPK adds little to Jackson 5´s ¨I Want You Back¨ except corny percussion and some echo, and Chosen Few´s recast of Diana Ross´ ¨The Boss¨ is too jumbled and cutesy. (Miss Ross emoting to a Tex-Mex beat? Yeah, right.) Purists will flinch, but Remixed 2 will feel like an unending Saturday night for dancers and mixmasters alike.
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Mark Keresman