by Gregg Shapiro
This article shared 3372 times since Wed Apr 21, 2004
From Apollo 100's "Joy" to Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" in the 1970s to the dreaded series of Hooked On Classics albums in the 1980s, attempts to update and disco-fy classical music are nothing new. Even Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Xavier Cugat, to mention a few, put their distinctive touches on the classics. The dozen re-workings of compositions by Beethoven, Puccini, Bach, Ravel, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and others on Masterworks Reworked (Groove Gravy) range from chill-out to full-fledged dance-floor workouts that are surprisingly accessible. Zigo makes a tangerine dream out of Bach's "Overture No. 3," as Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is given a subtle Middle Eastern flavor by Dakesh York. Two B joins The Tao Of Groove for a hip-hop reading of Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" and compositions that naturally lend themselves to beat enhancements, such as Ravel's "Bolero" and Rimsky Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumblebee," are so adorned by Jazzelicious and J-Radical, respectively. Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake: Waltz" takes flight in Rithma's hands and a Spanish guitar and a slamming beat box go toe to toe in Tangarine D'Or's remix of Rodrigo's "Concierto De Aranjuez." Purists everywhere will probably be shaking their heads, while club-goers shake their asses to Le D's reworking of Schubert's "Piano Mass No. 6: Kyrie."
A selection of contemporary classics get the remix treatment on the odd, but interesting Pink Panther's Penthouse Party (Virgin) compilation. Both the late composer Henry Mancini and "the Pink Panther" are celebrating milestones this year. Mancini would have turned eighty in June and the Blake Edwards movie turns forty. Mancini and the animated pink pussycat are the common denominators here with the movie theme song undergoing three remixes at the hands of Fischerspooner, St. Germain and Malibu. "Shot In The Dark/Peter Gunn," two more of Mancini's theme songs are given the mash-up treatment by Chris Mancini (his son) and Lennart Maven. Other remixes of familiar tracks include Gabin's edit of Peggy Lee's "Fever," Titan's cover of Carole King's "Corazon," and Pizzicato Five's distinctive reading of "The Girl From Ipanema." Other space-age bachelor pad tracks that round out this compilation include "Voulez Vous?," by Arling & Cameron, "Summer Sun" by Koop, "Bossa Per Due" by Nicola Conte and "Tres Tres Chic" by Mocean Worker.
This article shared 3372 times since Wed Apr 21, 2004
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