Published Oct 07, 2014Earlier this year, dub duo Tour De Force (Double Tiger and DJ Q-Mastah) released their debut LP Battle Cry. Eight months after the initial release, the original 10 tracks have been transformed, modulated and altered into new arrangements by a variety of producers and DJs. The new Battle Cry Remixed is a collection of 15 tracks reconfigured from eight out of the ten original songs on the Battle Cry LP.
Thematic remix albums are walking a fine line when selecting reimagined versions of already established tracks, but Battle Cry Remixed succeeds by neither detracting too severely from the source material, nor doing it a disservice. The newly remixed tracks are creatively divergent, subtle and cohesive; they show traces of similar thought in dub and reggae schools of musical principles while also bearing the signatures of the reinventors.
Tour De Force's original LP was built upon a Caribbean foundation that assimilated contemporary electric dub qualities into the mix. Artists such as Ondubground, in making the tracks their own, chose to add cascading synths and modify volume levels, adding a cinematic crescendo to the electro ether of "Old Time Love." Meanwhile, in an experimental expedition, Reality Chant expands the length of the originally four-minute "Where Do We Go Wrong?" to a staggering seven. Hylu and Jago's also deviate from the original on "Strong Survivor," on which they borrow a Marley sample drum track from "Jamming" and use it as a mini-drop, along with removing electro synth and implementing a lowly modulated electric organ, significantly altering the atmosphere of the original.
The album is at times tedious (the almost 15 minutes' worth of "Where Do We Go Wrong?" renditions), but overall provides interesting insight into how fellow musicians interpret Battle Cry and how it coincides with their own visions of the future of modern reggae. (Dub-Stuy Records)