It all began when ‘Midnight Marauders’ leapt out of my radio and into my enthused ears: DJ Fitches’ finely crafted dub-heavy beats topped with Joe Dukie’s silver-tongued vocals all backed by horns & keys supreme.
After a while, without hearing more from this pseudo-LSD-named act, a few EPs surfaced, ‘Live at the Matterhorn’ and ‘Hope for a Generation’ along with the quality singles, ‘Seconds’ and ‘This Room’. Finally in 2005, a full album dropped, Based on a True Story. It went on to to be crowned the album of the year by listeners of Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide show. Their debut single, ‘Midnight Marauders’, and a choice track from their album, ‘Cay’s Cray’s’ have now been remixed and Kartel have released two 12″s with these fresh versions.
The first single has a thrusting drum and bass edge with remixes by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and NZ conrads of FFD, Pylonz & Kinetix. Established names in the UK, AI have created a supreme mix of ‘Cay’s Cray’s’ which has been featuring heavily amongst the cream of UK drum & bass DJs, playlisted by Fabio among others, having heard it dropped on top-notch systems such as at The End, it definitely sounds heavy, soulful and weighty. Pylonz & Kinetix’s take on Midnight Marauders is a less-soulful-more-knees’-up track with rolling drumsand deep squelchy bass: for ravers who enjoy the term ‘jungle’.
Joe Dukie’s voice rings out and is complimented by killer basslines
The second 12″ presents ‘Cay’s Cray’s’ in some diverse guises. The opening cuts are dub reworks that I am sure match Fat Freddy’s Drop’s taste. The first is from UK dubstep heavyweights Digital Mystiks (DMZ), who recently toured with FFD. Their track allows Joe Dukie’s voice to ring out and it is complimented by a killer bassline, a speciality of DMZ. Their brilliant production gives the song wonderful balance, haunting the listener while the beat moves their head. The second dub workout is by Blood & Fire vs. Deep Sound and has strong steady bass, a teetering beat and it’s filled with hums, whispers and a wacca-wacca guitar riff. The remaining track is an uptempo electro version by Kalbata, aka Ariel Tagar, a Tel Avivian residing in London. Kalbata switches the mood taking ‘Cay’s Cray’s’ to the dancefloor with punchy beats and dark kicks. The synth riffs that ride on top add depth as do the use of the horns from the original version.
A further remix of ‘Cay’s Cray’s’ by DJ Vadim/One Self has been released on a 7″ by Kartel earlier this year, and Jazzanova’s fantastic refit of ‘Flashback’ is available from Sonar Kollecktiv on a 12″ or as part of the Jazzanova Remixes 2002 — 2005.
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