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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Various Artists
DJ Cam Revisited By
Recall

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


April 6, 2006
How do we feel about remix albums?

You: ______________

Me: Remix albums can be on or off. Sometimes you get intriguing artist pairings that result in a re-appreciation of the original song, and sometimes you get leftover samples. Example: Beck's Guerolito. The original album Guero was cool, and I thought the soon-following remix collection would be something amazing too. Could you really miss with Boards of Canada, Air, Ad Rock, EL-P, and Diplo? You could, and they did. Some of the remixes were good, but more surprisingly were those that didn't hit. It sounded like certain artists were mailing it in. The lesson is, don't assume that exceptional artists will make exceptional things happen with remix efforts.

Enter DJ Cam and Revisited By. Cam is a French DJ/Producer whose sound comes off in a very subtle, sleek, and polished downbeat hip-hop sort of way. It's easy music to listen to, and just as easy to fully enjoy, regardless of age, race and culture. The faceless nature of electronic music makes it easy for Cam's sophisticated creations to come off as hip-jazz/neo-soul-like to a black audience and hip-hop/downtempo to a white one.

The roster of Revisited By plays the underground hyped line - Thievery Corporation (downtempo), DJ Premier (hip-hop), DJ Vadim (electronic), J Dilla (hip-hop), Four Hero (downtempo), and more. Additional weight is added with rapping from Guru, Afu Ra, and others.

There are some good moments. DJ Premier, although coloring outside Cam's lines, puts it down on a track "Voodoo Child" that is unique with scratch chops, Afu-Ra's punchy rapping, and that sampled drum sound we know so well from his days with Gang Starr.

There are also some not-so-good moments. Kenny Dope and Thievery Corporation both take stabs at "Success" and both seem unessential. Not that this is a completely bad thing, but if you're doing one track on the album, I would think you would want to put down some exceptional material. Dope and TC take a pass.

And then there are some interesting moments. The most notable of this kind is Premier's old counterpart, Guru, rapping over a dance-y reggaeton version of "Espionage" done by Bob Sinclar. The track is something I didn't really expect and something that seems a little fetched on an album associated with DJ Cam.

But nothing rivals the sleek and lurking hip-hop remix banger of "Love Junkee" from the recently passed J Dilla. It is similar to the original in that it is slow and sexy but the interpretation has a lot more punch with Jay Dee's behind-the-beat, slouching-yet-killer rhythms and Cameo's "aowww"s.

Those tracks that try to salute Cam's originality often come off as random stabs; the tracks taking suggestions from his work are those that are good recordings but have little relevance to the idea of a Cam remix album; and the rest are either pretty good or kinda uninspired. Revisited By is greatly subjective in that it requires evaluation of two levels of creation - the original and the rendition. If you don't appreciate one there's a decent chance the other will be close behind. But if you don't know anything about Cam's previous work, just enjoy a compilation of some good tracks that coincidentally are remixes.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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