Well, how much do you like Jill Scott?
That’s the question you’re going to have to wrestle with before going into the songstress’ Crates: Remix Fundamentals, Volume 1, the latest in a slew of recordings released from Scott’s former record label, Hidden Beach. Is it just a little bit? Is it a lot? Or does it transcend a mere “like” tag and veer into “love” territory?
Actually, “love” may be the only way you could get up for this release. First in a three-part set, Remix Fundamentals proves its worth to die-hard fans while leaving fringe admirers nothing short of confused. Jazzy Jeff’s take on “A Long Walk” is wonderfully funky and atmospheric (though it’s also admittedly not new) while B-Sharp’s Afro Centric “Golden” proves its worth in… well… gold, with its imaginative reconstruction and crisp production.
But outside of those two gems, everything else is forgettable. “Can’t Explain” is transformed into a Pitbull B-Side that was ready-made for eighth-grade school dances and the set’s centerpiece, the 10-plus minute “Spring Summer Feeling”, is about eight minutes too long. Call it House music. Call it Dance music. Call it Trance music. Call it whatever you want. Just don’t forget one thing: If you don’t love Jill Scott, don’t even think about liking this.