Album: Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash Remixed (Compadre)
Friday 12 June 2009
No music icon is secure from the posthumous assault of the digital makeover.
Things have moved on apace since Natalie Cole's "duet" with her dead daddy, reaching a nadir with last year's aptly-titled Elvis Vs Spankox remix album, in which the King's corpse became a punching-bag for some of the lowest blows in music history. This year it's Johnny Cash's turn, and it is nowhere near as undignified a disinterral. Indeed, I love the Philip Steir mix of "Get Rhythm" which opens this album at a gallop, with a bounding new bassline and juddering fuzz-guitar figure like staccato accordion. In general, when the remixers stick close to the originals, things aren't too bad: Pete Rock's take on "Folsom Prison Blues" has an infectious cantering manner, and Count De Money beefs up Cash's boom-chicka-boom rhythm on "Big River" without losing the basic track, resulting in something akin to a hypnotic JJ Cale groove. But having to work from finished mixes rather than multi-track masters means that in EQing out the original backings, the producers lose corresponding frequencies of Cash's voice, leaving a thin and etiolated ghost of his presence struggling to be heard, particularly over the indignities afflicted by Snoop Dogg on "I Walk The Line".
Download this: 'Get Rhythm', 'Big River', 'Folsom Prison Blues'
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