1/ Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho (MMW) 3.54 Illy B remix 2/ Whatever Happened To Gus (MMW,Cannon,Guru) 4.39 (Word To The Drums mix) Remixed by Guru 3/ Start-Stop (MMW) 6.32 Remixed by DJ Logic 4/ Nocturne (MMW) 5.41 Remixed by Dan The Automator 5/ Sugarcraft (MMW) 4.10 Remixed by Yuka Honda 6/ Satan's Church Of Hypnotized Logic (MMW,DJ Logic) 10.04 Reconstruction and mix translation by Bill LaswellORIGINAL TRACKS - John Medeski: organ, piano; Billy Martin: drums; Chris Wood: bass; REMIXES - (1) Billy Martin: additional keyboard and percussion; Scott Harding: engineer; (3) Scott Harding: engineer; (4) Yuka Honda: drum programming, synthesizer, samples; Sean Lennon: clavinet, synthesizer; Miho Hatori: vocals; Pat Dillet: engineer; (5) Robert Musso: engineer.
1999 - Blue Note (USA), 7087 6 10193-1 (12") 1999 - Blue Note (USA), 72437 99503-2 (CD)Note: The 12" version only contains tracks 1,3 and 6.
Richard Proplesch (courtesy of the Focus Magazine website)
Avant-jazzers Medeski Martin & Wood make fairly weird music to start with, so pushing their stuff through the acid-jazz-meets-trip-hop filter is bound to yield some very interesting results, right?
Well, of course.
On the Combustication Remix EP, six mad sound scientists (including Illy B, aka Billy Martin, drummer for MMW) redistribute and supplement elements of the musical source material like Pablo Picasso rearranged the human form on canvas.
Although there are still those who consider the art of remixing to be illegitimate, many have come to embrace the skill as a means by which to breathe new life into old tracks. The well-conceived remix promotes a sense that the original creative impulse might possibly achieve immortality (as opposed to mummification) by generating an endless series of mutations. Add to that bit of loftiness the fact that good remixes can be as much fun to listen to as they are to make, and it's no wonder that the remixing phenomenon is more rampant than the tribute album itself.
Along with Illy B, the Combustication Remix features studio trickery from DJ Logic (who collaborated with MMW on last year's Combustication), Yuka Honda, Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, Bill Laswell, and Guru (whose "Whatever Happened To Gus" takes the only clunker on Combustication and gives the original's surreal paean to yesteryear jazz culture a needed shot of cred).
You really don't have to dig Medeski Martin & Wood or even jazz to like this EP. If you prefer your hip-hop dosed with a healthy portion of strangeness, try these tracks.
Stephen Grimstead (courtesy of the Memphis Flyer website)
What makes this such a fun program is the fact that Medeski, Martin & Wood's sound is normally so organic — comprised of John Medeski on Hammond organ, upright bassist Chris Wood and drummer Billy Martin, the trio has always cultivated a warm, funky sound that is far removed from the digital bleeps and synthetic grooves of electronic dance music. So bringing in four DJs, a rapper and Bill Laswell to work some remix voodoo on tracks from the latest MM&W album was a move both counterintuitive and inspired. Illy B goes the techno route on his remix of "Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho"; Guru intones some somber ghetto consciousness over a hip-hopped-up arrangement of "Whatever Happened to Gus"; DJ Logic weaves an eerie, illbient groove out of "Start-Stop"; and Dan the Automator gets similarly downtempo on his remix of "Nocturne," which actually incorporates a Steel Pulse sample. But best of all is Bill Laswell's ten-minute take on "Satan's Church of Hypnotized Logic," which retains much of the flavor of the original while muscling it up with heavier bass and Middle Eastern vocal samples.
Rick Anderson (courtesy of the All Music Guide website)