Rob Swift

Under the Influence

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The latest and best entry in the Six Degrees label's Under the Influence series is a DJ mix by the well-respected X-Ecutioners alumnus and East Coast Turntable Champion Rob Swift, who has selected a brilliant program of rare vintage funk and soul recordings by such obscure masters of the genre as the Vibrettes, Chuck Carbo, and the Explosions, along with more recent material by Davy DMX and DJ Quik, and a couple of tracks from Afro-Cuban vocalist Bobi Céspedes. As with any good turntablist set, half the fun is the source material itself, all of which works together as a sort of historic kaleidoscope of funk, and half of it is in Swift's artful juxtapositions and virtuosic cutting and scratching. Swift is maybe just a bit too respectful and restrained in his approach to the really old-school stuff, but he cuts loose (pun intended) with a vengeance on Davy DMX's "One for the Treble," Charlie Chase's "We're Gonna Need a Little Scratch," and, especially, the classic "The Man Marley Marl." Towards the end, Swift gets busy with a Latin feel on his remix of Bobi Céspedes' "Lenu," which makes for a nice rhythmic and textural change-up. The best way to improve on this album would have been to make it last more than 45 minutes.

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