From the production duo of Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds comes Tangle Eye, a roots remixing team who takes a valiant stab at remixing the barest and simplest of roots recordings. On Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed, they dig into the Alan Lomax archives (specifically from the Southern Journey era of his work, roughly 1940 to 1960), doing, to some degree, what's already been done by the likes of Moby, but with a slightly different angle of attack. Where Moby made use of the Lomax gems as a centerpiece for one of his own creations within a certain range of fitting aesthetics, the Tangle Eye team attempts to remix the various (almost strictly) vocal works into the full spectrum of genres, seemingly more for the sake of remixing itself rather than for the purpose of crafting a song in its own right. The focus seems to be more in the creation than in the product. That said, the results are stunning. The album starts out in something of a chillout mode, turning some of the prison song repertoire into light jazz, and adding instrumentation to a piece of blues now made ready for a smoky night club. More chillout follows from another prison recording and a farm singer. Back in the prison recordings, "Holler" becomes a southern house beat á la Moby proper, and an old Bright Light Quartet number is made into a bit of rocksteady dub, of all things. To finish out the album, the well-known rendition of "Rosie" by Eighty Eight's axe gang is made into a rock-riff-heavy romp, and a quiet gospel number from the Peerless Four is fleshed out into a full-fledged tour de force on the organ with a dancefloor beat and a strong call and response style. This certainly isn't your traditional version of the Southern Journey classics, but it's certainly worth hearing for those interested in the meeting grounds of the old and the new. Cultures are mixed in a somewhat haphazard way, but the end product is always a well-crafted work.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg