Brooklyn label Razor-N-Tape once again assert their preeminence in the realm of disco edits with this new record by Cologne-based artist HADE. It’s outstanding for both its astutely wide-ranging source material, as well for the expertly stylized production, which will delight fans of beats of any stripe, whether hip hop, house, funk, or anything in between.
You’d expect nothing less from a producer whose remix portfolio includes the work of top club DJs, alongside “Ghost Song” by The Doors, and a ridiculous ’80s German pop remake of Black Sabbath’s “Ironman.” (The music video for the last one’s worth a watch.)
And wonderfully here, both uptempo house-oriented and low-slung hip hop tracks are equally represented across the four tracks.
The A side kicks things off with a delightfully funky edit of Nigerian singer Christy Essien’s feminist anthem “You Can’t Change A Man,” acutely chopped and reassembled. (The original’s featured on the notable recent compilation “Nigeria Soul Fever,” released by Soul Jazz Records.) HADE turns up the bass guitar and sprinkles on jacking percussion samples to cook up a sure club winner.
“Jeep Cherokee XJ” enters with a swinging jazz sample and promptly drops a chomping New York hip hop beat, refreshing the 1994 cut “Boomin’ in Ya Jeep” by Kenny Dope featuring Skreetchy Dan. But where the original focuses on a distorted guitar riff, the new version revolves around moody piano and saxophone, as Skreetchy Dan’s rapping drifts in out of focus. Overall, the style echoes crate-digging sample-choppers like M.F. Doom and J Dilla.
On the reverse, “My Thang” amplifies the euphorically funky ’80s disco of Syl Johnson’s “Ms. Fine Brown Frame,” perfect for that late-night climax on the dance floor. HADE boosts the bounce with a throbbing kick drum, and reassembles the song to highlight the hypnotic elation of the horn arrangements and proto-rap verses. The harmonica solo in the final quarter is a particularly neat treat.
“Range Rover HSE” cools things back down for a soulful, more UK-influenced trip hop groove, with flute flying over a landscape of roaming electric piano and deep, warmly rumbling bass. At just over two-and-a-half-minutes, it will be all too brief for those inclined toward the dense and passionate work of Bonobo or DJ Shadow.
The record’s available to own only on vinyl, and has already sold out of most retailers, but you can stream it to your heart’s delight via Soundcloud.