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Nina Simone: Remixed & Reimagined

Nina Simone’s realpolitik folk-jazz might not naturally suggest itself as amenable to the whims of the remix artist, but listening to the rhythms inherent in Simone’s idiosyncratic phrasing spread across this disc’s wide-ranging beats, your equilibrium is bound to get thrown off as surely as your expectations.

A wildly eclectic performer, the late Simone is framed in her element here, a fusion artist further fused, with an emphasis on energy. Groovefinder’s “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life” collage busts apart traditional Memphis soul to fashion a minimalist groove-like some of the members of the Stax house band called in sick-while Daniel Y’s remix of “I Can’t See Nobody” provides the disc’s purest jolt of acid-culture Northern soul, Simone’s vocal steeped in all of the attendant earthiness of a field holler. Even the muddy, thudding bass-drum kicks of Coldcut’s “Save Me” signal pure groove beneath Simone’s ultra-processed vocal, her faint, rasping gasps for breath left intact in the mix-a rhythm to leave you ragged.

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