Washington DC’s Thievery Corporation return with the ultimate collection of their remixes, Versions. Versions features 18 dubbed out reworks (by Thievery Corporation) of a diverse group of ar tists including The Doors , Sarah Mc Lachlan , Astrud Gilberto , Nouvelle Vague , Wax Poeticfeat . Norah Jones , Anoushka Shankar , Transglobal Underground and many more. The album also includes an exclusive new Thievery Corporation track featuring reggae legend Sister Nancy .
Versions gathers 18 Thievery Corporation remixes from across a music spectrum that only the most eclectic could love. The vinyl-popping digital duo embraces ’60s psychedelia with the Doors and ’60s kitsch with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. They put them all into the mixmaster, usually adding the downtempo jazzy electro-lounge beats upon which they built their early reputation. Alpert’s “Lemon Tree,” taken from the recent Whipped Cream & Other Delights Rewhipped, is a vintage noirish mood piece, but this doesn’t always work. Fear of Pop’s “In Love” becomes a tedious vamp, and the Doors’ “Strange Days” is a missed opportunity squandered on a Cagian “indeterminacy” moment, like two bands in different rooms. But the Thievery formula usually works wonders on even the most unlikely material. There’s an Indian twang to many of these mixes, including the Middle East-via-Bombay grooves of Trans-Global Underground, the Indian singing of Ustad Sultan Khan, and the fragile sitar of Anoushka Shankar. Even the tunes that aren’t Eastern, like Nouvelle Vague’s Euro-lounge “This Is Not a Love Song,” get the full Indian treatment with droning tambouras and tabla percussion. I wonder what it says that no matter whether they’re using Astrud Gilberto, Sarah McLachlan, or the Doors as source material, it all comes out sounding like Thievery Corporation. –John Diliberto
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