It’s been quite a while since we’ve written any reviews. Apologies to all of you who were waiting with bated breath, anticipating our newest review. Wait no more, hot off the grill, here’s a tasty one. For me personally, I have a grown-up job now and I work 10 hour days, so while I don’t listen to any less music, and I’m always finding new tracks, I don’t have the time to dedicate to writing reviews anymore. Hopefully this will change. Anyway, you don’t care about my life, you care about the music, baby. So, here we go.
This is an old remix honestly. It was released by SMLE about a year ago. But music is unique because it never really gets old and as long as some of you haven’t heard the song, then this exercise is worth it. We all know Alicia Keys (if you don’t, well then there is no saving you) and we all love her 2003 (!!!) classic, “You Don’t Know My Name.” Damn if that doesn’t make me feel old. I’m not going to describe the original, because you all know it so well it isn’t worth it. But SMLE have taken it and elevated it to the deliciously sumptuous stratosphere. Their sound is perfectly suited for this type of remix: light melodies coupled with a solid percussion and intermittent electro production.
The remix starts as it should, with Alicia’s vocals front and center, with nothing but relaxed synth chords in the background. But at the :30 second mark, you begin to realize the direction this is going towards. The electro duo slowly begin to add some effects to the vocal, just a slight wah-wah, and then lay down a subtle but intricate percussion with a double on-beat bass line. At around a minute, the real meat of the track hits, and SMLE impose their unique style onto the track. They give you a light melody with reduced vocals, and then they drop their perfectly produced “wah-wah” synth melody in a heavy off-rhythm line. They find a way to tap into a fresh electro sound, while still paying the necessary homage to the original. They also aren’t afraid to drop in a few unexpected chords in the background, actually adding some complexity to the frankly simple chord progression of the original. Overall, amazing remix. I’m so happy to be doing this again!!!
I’ve also added this wonderful 2003 music video, featuring none other than Mos Def as the romantic lead, and an entire “phone call” interlude. Enjoy.