Review: The undisputed king of reggae versions, Mato returns with his sixth series of dubbed out hip-hop covers. Far from the crass, crude mash-up culture, Mato's original instrumentation ensures a much more natural remix feel which, in some cases, sounds better than the original. Across the 10 track set we're treated a bouncy, sun-kissed take on Eve's "Gangsta Lovin", a tight skank-flexed take on The Beatnuts "Off The Books", a Vadim-style contemporary digi dub take on Nate Dogg's "Good Life" and a very authentic rendition of "Still Dre". Essential listening for both hip-hop and reggae heads.
Review: Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines" has garnered enormous attention recently, and not always for the right reasons. Maybe Mato's remarkable mash-up skills, turning it here into the kind of vintage Robert Palmer in Jamaica pop reggae not heard since the mid-'80s, might help show it in a good light. We also get Justin Timberlake's croon "Suit & Tie" turned into a Night Nurse goes falsetto delight.
Review: Homework. What's left to say about Daft Punk's monumental 1997 debut album that hasn't already been said? It's an LP that everybody loves even if some think it's their best work and others think it was only a hint of the really good stuff to follow. Well Mato has something more to say on the matter, going so far as to rework the whole shebang in a dub reggae style. It's a brave move, but guess what? It totally works, particularly on the spacey "Revolution 909" and the honey vocal-led "Around The World".
Review: French reggae producer Mato has made a name for himself by giving Kingston-style makeovers to many hip-hop pop hits. Here Stix have rounded up the latest batch of reworks featuring, amongst others, "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse and, clearly not getting the memo, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke.
Review: Mr Patchworks (AKA Bruno Hovart) dons his Taggy tracksuit and tags up with Lyonnais singer LMK for this soothing, sensuous vibe-out. Soft skanks, digidub bass bubbles and instant sing-along vocal fuse to form a jam that's reminiscent of Sister Nancy. Dub heads should jump on the version for added dynamic instrumental depth.