12 August 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Sola Rosa - Get It Together (The Remixes)

Sola Rosa
Get It Together - The Remixes
[Way Up/Rosa Recordings]

Over the last decade Andrew Spraggon has taken Sola Rosa from one-man bedroom recording nom-de-plume to fully-fledged, all-guns-blazing live band lineup, delivering a clutch of excellent studio albums along the way.

None are finer than last year's Get It Together: a body blow of significant proportions & a vastly under-rated album. Get It Together is all killer & no filler, boasting one of the biggest local tunes of the year (nay, decade!?) in Turnaround (featuring the bluesy, soulful vocals of Iva Lamkum), lovingly enshrined in the warmest, fattest production this side of the Black Stump.

So, I must admit it was with some trepidation I cracked the seal on Spraggon's latest venture, Get It Together - The Remixes.

Remix collections are notoriously hit & miss affairs, with some veering into the outer limits of what's enjoyably listenable simply for the sake of having the latest, coolest DJs involved; while others are blanded out beyond muzak in a half-hearted effort to please most-of-the-people-most-of-the-time.

This isn't like either of those. At all.

Sure, there's a host of globally recognised names involved: DJ Vadim, The Nextmen, Biggabush, TM Juke, Beatfanatic, Yes King, J-Star; alongside the lesser known likes of Thomas Blondet, Moo, Mr Boinkin & our own/adopted Jason Eli - but this is top drawer gear, mate! Each of the producers involved bring something fresh to the tunes they've tweaked, without losing the heavy-lidded, borderline Tex-Mex flavours Sola Rosa so consistently cook up.

The vocalists from the original Get It Together album all line up here again (longtime collaborator Spikey Tee, German songstress Bajka, US emcee Serocee & Wellington's waaay-more-than-promising Iva Lamkum), while the CD closes with a genuine highlight & new take on the instrumental track Del Ray, featuring a seamlessly flowing rap delivered in his native tongue, by the Chilean rapper Four-D, who sent his "mash-up" version to Spraggon over the internet, completely out of the blue!

Put simply: these remixes could play alongside most of Sola Rosa's back catalogue without sounding out of place at all. Being that Spraggon took the best part of a year sifting through remixes to select & program this collection we shouldn't be at all surprised. After all, the man's inescapable attention to detail as seen us all rewarded with a fine swag of musical riches for more than 10 years.

Here's to another ten - Viva la Sola Rosa!

NYNTEE'S RATING: seven & a half Cuba Libre's out of then
IN A NUTSHELL: Sola Rosa slide in sideways with a selection of top drawer. heavy-lidded remix treats

Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with Nyntee, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show on Radio Ponsonby, every Wednesday around 8.25am. Tune in! 107.7FM in Auckland & streaming live.

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