Soulstice Mixed Illusions

Illusions California quintet Soulstice offer up their debut album Illusion for reworkings by some of the biggest names in underground dance music, Atjazz, Kevin Yost, and DJ Spinna amongst them. The results are mixed. Soulstice themselves shine during both their brilliant, bouncy, soulful two-step offering "Lockdown," a brand new song that sees the group nicely roughening up the edges on their occasionally too-smooth production, as well as with their own deep, funky and bumpin' remix of "Fall Into You." Where their mix is quality dance floor material, Landslide delivers a wonderfully abstract, jazzy broken beat instrumental. Unfortunately, Miguel Migs‚ remix of the same song is far from his most inspired work. Pepe Braddock and Kevin Yost also never quite take flight with their separate reworkings of "Tenderly," with Braddock funking it up, drawing it out, teasing, breaking, but never offering the punch that should follow. On the flip, Johnny Fiasco gives "Lovely" the full-on dance floor treatment, adding a full, kick-ass house beat while allowing Gina Rene‚s voice to soar and trumpets to sing, resulting in a full-flavoured, fun mix that is both a sure crowd pleaser and true to the band. Special praise is reserved for J Boogie and Fila Brazillia however, whose mixes remind us of the new perspectives a quality remix can offer. J.B. adds straightforward hip-hop beats and a gorgeous muted bass to "Illusion," building beautifully around the original vocals while colouring with flourishes of flute and delay. Fila create a blissful mix of "Wind," soaring with smooth, bossa-jazz tinged flavourings, lovely acoustic instrumentation and a perfect treatment of Gina's voice. Here, the original is truly elevated, which should be the goal of a remixer after all (Om)