DJ Cam: Revisited By

Funk and hip-hop rule on Revisited By, a thirteen-track set of DJ Cam (Laurent Daumail) material, though soul, jazz, and dancehall find their way into the mix too. While Cam's done remixes for the likes of Nas, Cypress Hill, Macy Gray, and Michael Jackson, the collection presents other artists' takes on his own material (there's lots to choose from, as Cam's deep discography extends back to the mid-‘90s).

Different versions of some Cam classics appear, allowing for interesting comparisons. Raising the bar high with an irresistible opener, Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez strips “Success” to a skeleton of vocals (“Learning from your mistakes and from your success / That's what you do best”) and tough funk breaks while Attica Blues gives the tune a thunderous overhaul heavy on scratching and other madness. Radically different, Thievery Corporation drops the vocal and, fueled by an insistent dub bass line, hijacks the song to Morocco. Though the idea of featuring Indian singing was fresher in 1996 when “Meera” first appeared on Cam's Substances, the pairing of hip-hop breaks with the sultry vocals of Kakoli Sengupta in Extra Lucid's mix still sounds powerful; dropping the vocals altogether, the Tek 9/Four Hero version opts for dreamily languid hip-hop. Compare also DJ Vadim's severely smoked-out “Innervisions” to Flytronix's soul-jazz/drum & bass epic with its lush arrangement of Rhodes, vibes, harps, and strings. Elsewhere, China spills bluesy soul all over Kid Loco's “He's Gone,” Larry Blackmon's Cameo and J Dilla unite for a slow soul-funk “Love Junkee,” and DJ Premier brings a delicious, old skool vibe to the sunny hip-hop of “Voodoo Child.” Listeners new to Daumail's work could do a whole lot worse than start with this rich historical overview.

January 2006