Blu Mar Ten: Famous Lost Words Remixes: Part 1
Break / Fields: Duck For Cover / Reel Funk
This first installment in a projected three-part series of remixes of tracks from Blu Mar Ten's 2013 Famous Lost Words album solidly hits the mark on a number of counts. Not only is the source material strong, with stunning vocal turns by Agne Genyte adding significantly to Blu Mar Ten's compositions, but the tracks receive superior makeover treatments from Break and Frederic Robinson, too. Considerably more than just a drum'n'bass workout, “Break It All Apart” derives a great deal of its impact from Genyte's sultry performance—though it's hardly lacking for toughness either. If anything, pairing her gorgeous, melancholy vocal with Break's lightspeed beat thrust sounds to these ears like some inspired stroke of genius, and neither should we forget that it's Blu Mar Ten who's responsible for the magnificent blueprint their guests are so fortunate to be working from. Robinson's jazzy overhaul of “Somewhere” is radical, to say the least. In fact, Robinson less remixes the track than reinvents it altogether when he replaces much of the cut's original instrumental material with his own idiosyncratic concoction of beats, strings, keyboards, horns, and percussive effects. It's up, then, to Genyte to maintain the connection to the original, and her smooth vocal proves to be more than capable of doing so. Perhaps the highest compliment one could pay to the remixers is that their versions are so dynamic they make this listener want to pull the original album off the shelf and rediscover it anew.
Break's also got a new single of his own, this one (available as a digital download only) on his Symmetry label and featuring a cut by himself and one by Fields. The punchier of the two tracks, Break's “Duck For Cover” eases in stealthily with brooding film noir atmospheres and a rolling groove before soulful expressions by an unnamed female vocalist pushes it to a higher level. Thereafter the tune alternates between punchy drum'n'bass episodes—the tune's insistent beat chug ear-catchingly augmented by congas—and brief interjections from the wailing vocalist. “Reel Funk,” Fields' first solo track on Symmetry, makes good on its title by spritzing its electro-funk pulse with a complex weave of rapid-fire percussive effects and low-slung bass rumble. Tailor-made for a club setting and a high-end system, “Reel Funk” inhabits a different world from “Duck For Cover,” even if the bongos-styled percussion detail draws a connecting line between the two. Truth be told, the single's tracks aren't at the same level, compositionally speaking, as the ones on the Blue Mar Ten release, though the single's still definitely worth a listen.