[28 September 2007]
In February of this year, Vieux Farka Touré, the son of late great Malian guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré, released his excellent self-titled debut. Following in the footsteps of indie rock bands such as Bloc Party and Minus the Bear, a remix collection has quickly followed. Remixed: UFOs Over Bamako offers up 11 electronica interpretations of songs from Vieux Farka Touré. The results are mostly good. “Ana” gets reworked three times over: GOONDA’s “Tribal Dub” version is heady gaia trance; the “Captain Planet Remix” relies too heavily on its funk snare drum beat; Hisboyelroy’s “Smooth Dub”, however, provides a wonderfully hypnotic atmosphere. Chris Annibell reconfigures “Wosoubour” over a thin and funky rhythm that alludes to Steve Wonder’s “Superstitious”. Fabian Asultany’s sultry remix of “Courage” fits better here than the overly rock-oriented original did on VFT. Two very different takes on “Ma Hine Cocore” bookend this disc: Yossi Fine’s “3rd Bass Remix” opens with the slow, deep momentum of a Massive Attack track gone world beat, while Karsh Kale’s remix is a lovely, ambient album closer. The album is mostly quite tasteful, and the tracks work well together, despite the presence of so many different hands turning knobs and sliding faders. Of course, the source material is so good that the inspiration for these remixers must’ve been easy to attain, and this all shines through on Remixed: UFOs Over Bamako.