Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio Recovered: The Remix Ep
Reviewing Black Radio earlier this year, when I heard about the remix Recovered EP, wasn't sure how any improvements could be made to one of the best breakout albums of 2012 (that's right, folks). Remixing four of the strongest tracks and adding two new tracks to the test-tubes and bubbling potions in the lab, like mad scientists, the Robert Glasper Experiment delivers a short and sweet sonic jazz and hip-hop package that references the previous dope body of work but artistically stands on its own as a separate entity.
Starting with Erykah Badu's "Afro Blue" Blue Basement Remix, RGE recruits Phonte (who's appeared on several key R&B tracks this year) to drop some verses that take the listener back to the classic neo-soul/hip-hop combos of the ‘00s. The "Black Radio Remix" opens with a funny voice message giving misinformed commentary about the original track, now featuring Yasiin Bey rocking as usual and Pete Rock blazing his trademark hot beat production. The Bilal/Black Milk and the Meshell Ndeogeocello/Georgia Anne Muldrow collabos breathe new funk, jazz and hip-hop life into "Letter to Hermione" and "The Consequence of Jealousy".
A bold cover of Sweden-based Little Dragon's "Twice" featuring Solange and ?uestlove greets the listener four tracks in and recalls the ballsy nature of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" version on the first record. It's a given if you do any cover, you better make it your own and they brilliantly accomplish that, time after time. Casey Benjamin's voicebox on the Ma Dukes-approved and Common's "The Light" influenced off-center "Dillalude #2" seals the deal. Foolishly hesitant about whether I'd like the "let's have 20 people on my record" approach, I then realized the Robert Glasper Experiment "recovered" the ridiculously talented spirit of the Soulquarian Collective and Native Tongues pioneers, forming a new community or village of experimental risk-taking artists changing stereotypes of what urban music should sound like. The Experiment's results = conclusive success.
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