Alice Russell

Pot of Gold: Remixes

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Alice Russell’s Pot of Gold, was issued at the end of 2008 by American independent imprint Six Degrees. It was met with wide critical acclaim for its strict adherence to soul tradition. That said, there is so much pure emotion in Russell’s voice and discipline in her phrasing, that none of what she presented sounds staid or overly reverential -- check out the gospel-frenzied reading of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy." Six Degrees steps up in 2009 with this 22-cut, double-disc remix collection; eight were sourced from Pot of Gold proper and most of these have multiple versions Some of the artists assembling these remixes include DJ Vadim, Mocean Worker, Ohmega Watts, Llorca, Shawn Lee, DJ Day with Clutchy Hopkins, Ticklah, and Clonious to name a few. Standouts include the killer dubwise version of the Emrika redo of Russell’s signature tune, “Hurry on Now,” that re-creates it via minimalist techno and stretched-out, abstract, digital dub. The abstraction of LJM’s remix of “Lights Went Out” keeps the barest essential of the melody, shimmering over the entire tune with a violin, scratchy ambience, and an extremely minimal looped rhythm track. Lee’s take on “Two Steps” is hard bubbling bass, popping handclaps, and cracking breakbeat soul atmospherics with in-your-face guitars, strings, and organ take the track back to the late ‘60s while keeping it in the moment. Llorca’s driven, late-'60s funk-styled version of "Got the Hunger?" tune is the best of the four versions here. “Universe,” by Dusty, reinvents Russell as a jazz singer with flute and Grant Green-styled guitar, and a doubled-timed snare in the backdrop that breaks in all the right places with a bridge built of pure Brazilian samba. This set is for the fans and version collectors to be sure, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable listen all the way through with many surprises; all of them enhancing the not-always-immediately-noticeable subtleties in the many dimensions of Russell’s voice.

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