Tangle Eye : Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed

Tangle Eye : Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed

  • $18.98

With its debut release, New Orleans-based Tangle Eye brings a fresh approach to the art of the remix, creating music, beats and sounds that bring new light to original vocal performances sampled from Alan Lomax's Southern Journey field recordings. A few years ago, the word "remix" most likely would have indicated a club version of a pop hit, strictly meant for dancing. However, such recent recordings as Verve Remixed and Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project has established the remix genre as a creative new music style with seemingly boundless possibilities. There's a difference, however, in Tangle Eye's approach, for their music is ultimately about the voices sampled. It can be astonishing to hear the raw beauty and passion of these voices, most of which were original a cappella performances, in the new settings created by Tangle Eye. Contributing contemporary musicians include Meters bassist George Porter, Jr., Galactic guitarist Jeff Raines, pianist Henry Butler, old-time fiddler Dirk Powell, bluesman Corey Harris, keyboard work from Davell Crawford, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and bluegrass Dobro virtuoso Rob Ickes.
Scoring mostly sonic triumphs--with a few awkward stylistic conflicts--Tangle Eye blend the Southern voices musicologist Alan Lomax recorded for the Library of Congress between 1947 and 1960 with hip-hop beats, New Orleans funk, bluegrass, and other genres. When the duo, producers Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds, hit the mark, the results are spellbinding. "Hangman," which blends Almeda Riddle's wraith-like Arkansas folksinging with Crescent City drumming, Nashville fiddle, and Mississippi fife-and-drum music, transcends its eras and elements to create its own hypnotic realm. So does "Drownded," which builds an ethereal nest of Dobro, church organ, and drums for Mrs. Sydney Carter's melodious alto delivery of the spiritual "Pharoah." On the other hand, there's "John Henry," which pairs a horribly cheesy lounge-funk arrangement with convict Ed Lewis's chanting voice, robbing him and his tribal beat of their raw spirit. The trouble here is terminal competence: sometimes Tangle Eye and their studio musicians sound a bit too slick and pat to carry any emotional weight. --Ted Drozdowski

1. [5:53] John Henry's Blues
2. [4:51] Drownded
3. [4:32] Heaven
4. [4:25] Home
5. [5:23] Parchman Blues
6. [5:23] Holler
7. [3:30] O Death
8. [5:02] Chantey
9. [5:22] Hangman
10. [4:20] Work Song
11. [0:46] Soldier intro
12. [6:17] Soldier

Product UPC: 601143102424

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