Monday, February 18, 2008

9) Babylon Rewound - Thievery Corporation (Top Extended Plays)

Babylon Rewound

Thievery Corporation
ESL Music

SCQ Rating: 76%

A staple for the down-tempo lounge crowds, Thievery Corporation were pioneers at blending the rhythm and soul of international music into their relaxed beats. Their sponge-like interest in traditional music from India to Jamaica culminated in 2004’s The Richest Man in Babylon, a collection which some critics panned due to its whoring of “world” music. Those who agree with that assessment might have to argue among each other over Babylon Rewound; a remix record that continues finding inspiration from exotic styles, but this time, focuses on spinning the eclecticism of ‘Richest Man…’ into geniuine Rasta grooves.

Although the remixes (“rewound” by Kid Loco, Voidd, and the band itself) promote themselves a dub versions (like the Massive Attack VS Mad Professor album a decade earlier), these songs are most confidently reggae dancehall. Like many EPs, Babylon Rewound is a curiousity – a stop-gap release between albums – but it’s also a tightly cohesive group of quality remixes that in many ways trump the original album cuts. With no shortage of steel drum and Kingston rhythm, this is an ideal record to dust off on days like today when the winter blahs are creeping in.

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