Last year Fatima Al Qadiri simply blew us away with her Genre Specific Experience EP on UNO NYC. Five tracks that defied expectation and offered a truly unique listening experience, it was one of our favourite releases in a year of exceptional music. When UNO announced a remix EP, to say we were excited was an understatement. It dropped last week, and didn’t disappoint.
Continuing in the rich vein of form following his “Club Rez” EP, Girl Unit has fashioned a retro-futuristic club jam from the bones of “How Can I Resist U”. His relentless high-hats propel a few choice elements of Fatima’s track, building a solid and chunky jam from the terror of the original. It’s quite a feat, and shows the Night Slugs man is in an excellent place right now. DJ Rashad’s take on “Vatican Vibes” is a lot closer in spirit to its original counterpart. It jacks up the tempo but retains the original’s midi-style synth motif and a few offbeat riffs, bringing those elements into the furious world of juke. Simple, but effective.
Kingdom does a sterling job of tackling the unpredictable and awkward “Corpcore”, distilling its syncopated claps into a straightforward beat pattern without losing any sense of progression or experimentation. The track, downloadable below, works both as sonic exploration and club smash – it’s a perfect set-opener. “D-medley” was perhaps the most accessible and, as it were, friendly of the tracks on “GSX”, with its summery marimba opening, and Dutch E Germ has done a good job of isolating those most welcoming aspects. The marimba lines are overlaid and replayed in an almost Reichian manner, and like Rashad’s take on Vatican Vibes, this one has jumped up tempo-wise – not as far as juke territory, this one feels like dubstep, but it’s not an uncomfortable shift. Dubbel Dutch contribute with a second remix of “Vatican Vibes”, a world away from Rashad’s workout. A lengthy opener builds from the original’s pan pipes, before jacking into a healthy garage break. Fun yet furious, it perfectly moulds a killer jam with just the right smidgen of the original.
Reworking the truly magnificent “Hip Hop Spa” would be a difficult task for anyone, but Nguzunguzu have done a pretty solid job. They’ve expertly melded their signature percussive sound with the key marimba theme and haunting chords, even throwing in a brief pitched-up vocal sample to further make it their own. The final piece in this puzzle belongs to an artist as ground-breaking and interesting as Al Qadiri, Ikonika. She’s also tackled “D-medly”, taking it to the club and crafting a true “reach for the lasers” moment. Swamped in reverb, that friendly theme drifts to another world as a crackling buzz sits underneath stuttering percussion like a spacecraft waiting to take off. The shortest remix here, it’s a fitting end to this work, if only because it leaves you always wanting more. UNO’s assembled quite a team of remixers here, which only bodes positively for future projects of this ilk.
Fatima Al Qadiri – GSX Remixed is out now from Boomkat and all good digital outlets.