DJ Hooky isn't ashamed to venture down the road of mash-ups, because even though they may have been done to death, they still always rock a party. Here on "Jazz We Got" Mos Def's rapping gets layered over a really old and crackly jazz loop for some groovy chilled out vibes. Bonus track "Wicked Dub" takes the immortal Wicked Game by Chris Isaak and blends it seamlessly with some slow and low dub reggae.
Jonny Faith recently revealed the influence of the Oz sun on his music with acclaimed LP, Sundial. Now he moves on with two new non-album tracks, "Le Sucre" and "Dapple City". The former sees cascading electronic shimmers, gentle loops and light hip-hop beats merge is a blissful haze. The latter see trip-hoppy vibes resurface on this brief chillout interlude. Some album tracks get remixed too: "Dust Settles" becomes a fuzzed-out headnodder in Roleo's hands, Anormie Delirious turns "Zheng" into spacey DnB and Snare Thief goes further into jungle territory on his frenetic rework of "Neon".
We've never thought of Men at Work's "Down Under" as a would-be Balearic classic, but then we're not tropically minded mash-up man Cayetano. Here, under his Yuriyuri alias, he re-casts the infamous '80s pop song as a gorgeous, sun-kissed chunk of cumbia-meets-reggae gorgeousness. It shouldn't work, of course, but it really does (thanks, largely, to the bagginess of the live instrumentation and Cayetano's smart production). The virtual flip features another unlikely mash-up/rework, as Aha's "Take On Me" becomes an accordion-heavy tropical groover. Again, it shouldn't work, but weirdly, it does. Ideal festival fodder, all told.
Inspired by such disparate stuff as 'intelligent' drum and bass, The Wu-Tang Clan and Burial, UK producer Ghostchant (aka Joe Cornwell) finally gets to combine elements of all his influences in this, his debut LP. Having already treated us to lead track "Reasons", we now get to hear the other 13. Highlights of this dreamy record include the haunted urban garage of the title track, the delicate and beguiling ballad "Siren's Song" featuring vocals by Sophia Ben-Yousef and the ethereal acoustic closer "Coming Home".
Although jazzy maverick Ash Walker caused a fuss with the release of his dubby debut EP, Agnostic, his new double single, Six Eight & Noodle, heralds a return to his original influences. Both tunes are very much indebted to sample-heavy jazzy lounge productions of the 1990s, "Six Eight" sees rolling, shuffled loops that evoke images of smoky 1960s New York jazz basements. "Noodle" however, takes us into delicate acoustic guitar territory with just the faintest suggestions of beats underneath. Groovy!