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Miles Davis Twice Remixed

Bill Laswell gets it right the second time around. Panthalassa — The Remixes (Columbia) release compiles remixes of Panthalassa, Laswell’s 1998 album-length reconstruction of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ early electric-era recordings, such as Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way. (You may want to read that sentence twice.) It is also very much the album many listeners had expected from Laswell’s initial foray into Davis’ most controversial period; it’s a beat-driven affair, rich in club atmosphere, spare to a fault. On the most spare entry, Doc Scott forms an extended homage from a drum track and snippets of “Rated X” — among the highlights are bass-end piano figures, a rapid-fire guitar lick, and a rain-like smattering of applause. King Britt and Philip Charles do up “Shhh,” DJ Cam milks “In a Silent Way,” Jamie Myerson also attempts “Rated X” (which, paired with Scott’s take, makes this collection an excellent intro to the freeform nature of remixing), and Laswell himself revisits “On the Corner.” A bonus examination of “Black Satin/On the Corner” by DJ Krush, who focuses on Davis’ electronically mutated horn, may not be reason enough to add a turntable to your stereo, but if you already have one, then definitely opt for the vinyl: Krush’s entry is not on the CD.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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