Back in June, Nigerian legend Tony Allen uploaded a heap of stems (that is, constituent multi-track elements) of the title cut off his recent album, Secret Agent, for anyone to download, mix, and upload. The original is slick Afrobeat: all chanting chorus, ’70sploitation guitar, and trance-inducing percussion. Among the many uploaded mixes is an entry by subbasshead — aka “film sound designer, occasional musician” Tim Prebble, whose great musicofsound.co.nz blog carries the inspiring subhead “Tim’s obsession with vibrating air molecules.”
So what does someone with Prebble’s ear for sonic detail and space have in store for Allen, veteran drummer of Fela’s groundbreaking band? Among many other things, Prebble adds, per his pseudonym, a serious dose of delay, turning lilting guitar lines into rich waterfalls. He also pushes the keys forward until they seem like something off an electric-era Miles Davis album, and focuses the vocals until they sound less like a pop song and more like incantations (MP3).
More on the remix project in a previous disquiet.com post.