When normal fans devote time and money to build web sites or write fanzines for their favorite artists, UK-producer Curtis Lynch produces a 15 track album dedicated to one of his heroes– the late Gregory Isaacs. And when looking at the cover sleeve it’s obvious that Curtis Lynch is not just any fan since the Cool Ruler is pictured as some kind of angel on stained glass.
On Gregory Isaacs Remixes Curtis Lynch has re-done and re-shaped eleven tracks recorded by Gregory Isaacs for Jamaican producer Augustus “Gussie” Clarke. The album includes a total of 15 tracks and collects classics such as Private Beach Party and Let Off Supm, but a number of tunes are rather obscure since they are taken from Gregory Isaacs’ less creative period.
Curtis Lynch has re-played most of the music and only sampled a few bits. He has also pumped up the tempo and added the kind of ill bass lines your parents doesn’t want you to hang out with. The voice has however been affected by the changed tempo and Gregory Isaacs sounds a bit drunk on the monster hit Night Nurse.
On cover albums or remix sets it’s always a tough task to be better than the originals, even though that’s probably not always the intention of the musicians or the producers. And the tracks on Gregory Isaacs Remixes are not necessarily better than the original versions, they’re just different with a contemporary and more electronic sound.
I’ve to confess that I’m not a raving Gregory Isaacs fan. I like most of his cultural and roots-oriented material, but a large part of his output is too smooth for my taste. And with this new album Curtis Lynch has given his work a new edgier style, which is a good thing.
Gregory Isaacs Remixes is now available on CD and digital platforms.