Instinct Records/SCI Fidelity Records released DJ Harry's debut CD, The String Cheese Remix Project, in 2001. DJ Harry had been deeply influenced by the Grateful Dead and especially a San Francisco DJ collective called the Wicked Crew, who performed dance music in the parking lots outside the Dead's shows. It was at such a show in the Bay Area that DJ Harry first saw the confluence of the two disparate genres' improvisational and spontaneous elements. He would meet the band the String Cheese Incident while he was working as a DJ in small local Colorado bars. Sensing the natural similarities between jam bands and electronica, DJ Harry approached the using of their songs to fuse the two genres. The String Cheese Incident granted DJ Harry access to their live archive from which he selected songs from multiple shows and set out to reinterpret the gigs as a continuous house mix. Fans of the String Cheese Incident will recognize the band's familiar songs in the spacious grooves where DJ Harry morphs and respects the original source material. About 90 percent of the driving 66-minute mix album comes from samples taken from music the band recorded onto a 24 track. The project includes five songs that sample from the Summer Tour 2000 and four that sample from Spring Cheese 2000. "Wake Up," for example, includes samples from "A String Cheese Incident" while "MLT" includes some great jazzy piano sounds from "'Round the Wheel." The standout track is "Texas" which samples "Born on the Wrong Planet" and which sounds like a funky dance version of the Sex and the City theme. With Remix Project, DJ Harry has helped create the new progressive house-jam genre populated by few others, including the Disco Biscuits. Typical criticism of jam bands is that the energy on their studio albums pales in comparison to their live gigs. The The String Cheese Remix Project captures the band's live flair and uses their pop-friendly jazz fusion to create a new trippy sound. This awesome album is fresh and exciting because free-form jam music fits the electronica genre perfectly and The String Cheese Remix Project is no less than 90 percent cliché free. The results are exciting, highly creative, and revolutionary.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by JT Griffith