creaking, groaning sound? It’s the Man In Black rolling in his grave.
By Fred Mills
Hey kids! Remember a decade or so ago when every
creep with a sampler and a laptop fancied himself to be the next Arthur Baker?
Wasn’t it cool how every week some new remix effort hit the record bins and
sheeplike consumers lapped ‘em up regardless of quality – or, for that matter,
whether or not there was any logical rationale behind the project? And how a
bunch of Einsteins at record labels figured they could get some extra mileage
out of their heritage artists’ back catalogs by bringing in some hotshit techno
deejays to recast the music for a younger generation?
You KNOW you wanna hear some Fleetwood Mac,
Heart, Led Zep and Pat Benatar remixes, right? (If the answer is yes, we have a
stack of those Pink Floyd remix discs that were purportedly created by The Orb
we’ll sell ya… but we digress.)
Sob! Where’s Bill Laswell – the only cat to
credibly pull these sorts of things off, with his Miles Davis and Santana sets –
when we need him? Hint: there’s a REASON we call these people “heritage
artists” and their music “timeless.” And that translates into “please don’t fuck
with the tunes.”
Undeterred, however, is Compadre Records/Music
World Music, which just announced “bold new interpretations” of Johnny Cash.
Cash Remixed, due Jan. 27, is billed as “a tribute to the legacy of an
American music icon whose work has touched every contemporary genre,” and to
that end “top music remixers and
producers who were recruited to take the original master recordings and infuse
them with the sounds and technology of modern music styles such as hip hop and
dance music.” Among the guilt parties: Snoop Dogg.
The project has the “blessing and support of the custodians of Johnny Cash’s
legacy,” including Johnny’s son John Carter Cash, who said in a statement, “My
father made his stead by defying the expected and accepted way of things. He
set the standard at the same time. He would have loved this remix
record. While it stays true to the original recordings, this CD touches
on undiscovered ground. This is what my father was about: staying true to
tradition while creating groundbreaking new music.”
Wow. This is just wrong in so many ways we don’t
know where to begin. The photo above will suffice.
Anyhow, for those of you who lap this kinda
stuff up, read on to get the scoop from the label. But don’t say you weren’t
warned by BLURT first.
Johnny Cash classics were licensed from Cash’s first record label, the
legendary Sun Records, also the first record label home of luminaries such as
Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. The original tracks, recorded
with Cash’s first band the Tennessee
Two from 1956-1959, were pure and stark, with only the essentials; guitar,
light percussion and Johnny Cash’s unmistakable voice and presence. The new
mixes maintain this fantastic charm and personality while filing out the sound
and creating daring re-interpretations.
The remixed tracks (and remixers) include “I Walkte The Line”
featuring Snoop Dogg (QDT, the new production team led by Snoop Dogg –
featuring Snoop, Teddy Riley and DJ Quik), “Country Boy” (Sonny J,
whose album was released in August on Astralwerks US), “Get Rhythm”
(Philip Steir, the only remixer allowed to work with the Reprise Records Frank
Sinatra collection), “Leave that Junk Alone” (Alabama 3, creators of
The Sopranos theme song), “Folsom Prison Blues” (the legendary Pete
Rock), “Hey Porter” (Mocean Worker, whose remix of Elvis Presley’s
“Burnin’ Love” was used as a soundtrack to Honda’s Superbowl TV
commercial), “Sugartime” (Kennedy, cornerstone of the new UK Dirty
Pop movement), “Trail To Mexico” (indie favorite Mexican Institute of
Sound/MIS), “Doin’ My Time” (The Heavy, critically-acclaimed UK-based
band) and “Wide Open Road” (Count de Money) among others.
A documentary following the making will be included with the album, and was
produced by Phear Creative in NYC. This short film features interviews
from select remixers, filmed in their home studios, including Snoop Dogg
captured at the Cash Recording Cabin in Hendersonville, Tennessee.