A great remix is all about finding that balance between the old and the new, preservation and innovation. A great producer finds a way to simultaneously respect their sources while transforming them, so that the end product is both clearly different from and clearly the same as its inspiration.
El Búho – the moniker that masks DJ Robin Perkins in his creative endeavors – is an excellent producer, and “Camino Largo” a fabulous remix. The latest single off of his forthcoming release Tributaries, it takes “La Canción del Camino”, a winding call-and-response song originally from Afro-Colombian ensemble Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí’s 2004 album Dejame Subi and infuses it with new electronic energy – but never infringes on the incredible vocal strength of the original track.
In discussing “Camino Largo”, Perkins rightly and reverently describes Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí as “a remarkable group still showcasing and pioneering the modern sound of Colombia’s Pacific region.
“There is just a natural rhythm and drive to the [original] piece that made the edit flow easily and the vocals are so powerful,” he continues. Fronted by artist Nidia Góngora, whose collaboration with DJ Quantic last year showed how conducive her songs are to dance grooves, the group is nothing if not compelling. El Búho’s remix honors the singers’ talents by taking them even higher, his careful production elevating the song, bringing vocals and marimba alike space to echo over necessarily simple beats that make “Camino Largo” positively entrancing.
“Sometimes you hear a track and immediately want to make a remix to make it fit a set or more adept for the dancefloor,” says Perkins, “and this is exactly what happened in this case.”
As ecstatic as it is, perhaps the best thing about “Camino Largo” is what it promises for Tributaries, an album that includes of El Búho’s best remix work, drawing from an array of powerhouse groups from across the globe: a vast of music that showcases both Perkins’ precise hand at producing and a world full of phenomenal sound.
Tributaries is out November 9 via Wonderwheel Records.