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Miguel Migs

Those Things Remixed

(Salted Music; US: 22 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

San Francisco’s Miguel “Migs” Steward has got the funk way down in his boogie shoes. Having been a player in the scene since the late ‘90s, he has successfully separated himself from the banal average of button pushing funky house knob twiddlers by bolstering his creations with a choice selection of live instruments. Thus, he is often closer to authentic disco than the usual sample happy pack. The Those Things album—last year’s long awaited follow-up to his 2002 debut—went one step further by throwing some rap and reggae influence in there, featuring collaborations with Sadat X and Black Uhuru’s Junior Reid. As a producer, Migs has both talent and class.


With all the praise in check, Those Things is well deserving of a remix treatment. Oddly enough, on the whole, these reimaginings actually accentuate more organic sounds than the originals. The album version of “Fire” with Junior Reid was cut from the same keyboard heavy ‘80s dub cloth as Eddie Grant, while Faze Action’s re-rub included here jives the track more in line with the afrobeat spawn of Fela Kuti (namely the likes of Nickodemus and Quantic). Likewise, Cottonbelly’s take on “Fire” places the track more in context with classic funk, basing it around a tasty bassline and letting Reid’s vocals remain front and center. The Simon Grey Phase II mix of the Lisa Shaw assisted title track is fantastically inspired, landing Jamiroquai flavour in Steve Wonder territory. By all rights, if you liked Those Things, you will love them remixed, and this is coming from a guy who typically finds most funky house as appealing as ticks.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


Tagged as: miguel migs
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