Who here remembers remix albums!?!? Hands up if you own the The Cactus Revisited on cassette! Just me? Very good then. Point being, the remix album has been around for ages, but the merits & quality of such albums could be questioned in the early days. In the last 10 years of so, remix albums (the ones I pay attention to anyway) have become less the domain of labels looking for a cash grab, and more an outlet for producers to show their skills via a familiar canvas. Case in point, Re:Fresh, the latest project from the criminally slept-on N.S./T.O. duo The Extremities.
This DJ/Production duo comprised of Halifax’s Uncle Fester and Toronto’s Fresh Kils has always been a favourite here at the hill, and if you’ve never heard their last record, The Mint Condition, I’d suggest you go do that quick fast. This time out they’re showcasing their rather prodigious talents by giving high-quality retrofits to a number of songs from talented CDN hip hop artists. And I do mean quality - check the new-dope-beat-per-MC treatment given to opener Cold Cheese (a flip of Brandon Dramatic’s Cold Cheese Pizza). They manage to take a club/trap beat style song from JD Era (That Purple) and make it sound like it was made for the stuttering, boom-bap beat they hook up for it. They take Ghettosocks Recreation in a more serious/jazzy direction, which actually highlights how deft ‘Socks flow is. And the scratching. So good is the scratching. In these current hip hop times, largely bereft of scratching on songs, the scratches alone on the ominous version of D-Sisive’s Like This are like a work of art.
Add in remixes from folks like Rich Kidd, Ain’t No Love, The Get By, Ambition, Relic & Saukrates, and you have a fantastic showcase for both the folks in Canada who are making that honest-to-goodness hip hop and fantastic music Fester and Kils have been making together for years now. So grab yourself a copy of Re:Fresh and play it nice and loud as you head into the weekend.