Artist: Mike Steva
Title: Who Am I Remixes
Release date: March 31st, 2017
It would be a disservice to call Yoruba’s release of Mike Steva’s ‘Who Am I Remixes’ simply a remix album. The music is far too sophisticated and intentionally reinterpreted to be reduced to the notion of a remix; these songs have been re-imagined by super talents. Seasoned listeners are forced to confront a collection of sonic essays that pull from the electronic music vaults and put the original rhythms through a highly specialized reconstruction process. The album’s overall feel offers true heads the opportunity to astral travel and respond through meditative body movement. Many of the tracks are dance floor bangers, re-envisioned with appropriate touches of minimalist techno, African-centred drums and classic house vocals. This is intelligent music contributing to the development and the musical prowess of anybody with the vocabulary to understand the fusion and the cinematic score that inspires the visualization of each composition. The school of producers whom Mike Steva selected not only carry his message into the next realm of sound, but offer an additional tapestry.
‘ReSolution’, featuring vocals by Osunlade, has three guest producers. Seven Davis Jr. turns in a classic consistent with early roots of soulful house music, whilst Alex Barack offers a new wave inflected sound with his version. Lastly, Simbad brings a somewhat drum n bass texture to the track, situating the sound in a UK context.
The song ‘Freedom’ re-produced by Rob Paine is complete with sci-fi synths, and DJ Jeff’s iteration brings a bigger bump to the thump. Hallex M’s engaging remix of ‘Oasis’ comes to life with sounds of nature as a score, whilst Clima Records label boss Arno E. Mathieu’s versions are haunting journeys with a heavy Afro-techy feel.
The song ‘Kecak’ leaves no room for questions. Dhundee’s take on a classic hip-house sound is enough to push the crowd right over the edge. Hallex M’s take, his second production on the album, offers a darker, techier rendition, ideally suited to the ballroom dance scene. The ‘Afrodiscospace Remix’ by Anthony Nicholson was created with house loyalists in mind – it’s a wall of sound filled with the history of house music.
Mr. Raoul K’s versions of ‘Who Am I’ are rooted in Afrohouse, and Manoo’s ‘Journey To The West Remix’ is an unexpected easy listening hip-hop version that uses the vocals as a percussive instrument.
The Louie Vega Dance Ritual Dub of ‘Weekend Love’ is noteworthy for its classic Masters at Work swing, whilst Rocco delivers soulful tech-trance on ‘Pelagonia’. Finally, Craig Smith’s remix of ‘Moment in Time’ is a mature mid-tempo house cut that offers a relaxed come down from an extended ride.
Mike Steva’s music is a fresh breath of air to the house music scene. The line-up of legendary and emerging producers selected to take part in this project did so understanding the weight of Mike’s presence in the scene and Yoruba’s history of quality artists to reinforce the label’s sound. Pick this one up.