Various Artists: Tangle Eye: Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed

One of the more fascinating and heartfelt remix projects to come along is Tangle Eye’s Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed (Zoe). Imagine if Lomax brought along maverick producers Craig Street and Moodymann to his field-recording excursions and found out a way to give work songs, gospel shouts and blues numbers a subtle electro-bump without sacrificing any of their raw emotional punch. The production duo of Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds excels at giving makeovers of real old-school songs like “John Henry’s Blues” and “Home” without sounding gimmicky-unlike, say, Moby’s gospel-blues sampling hit “Find My Baby.” The banjos, piano, slide guitars and washboards retain their rustic splendor as Tangle Eye sometimes complements the originally barren instrumentation with tasteful bass, organs, drums and various horns and strings. This CD captivates with each listen.