Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
This week, Brit beatsmith Dobie releases his new album, We Will Not Harm You, building on last year’s abrasive EP workout But Fear Itself . Beyond his solo and production work though, Dobie’s two decade-long career has also seen him amassing something of a royal body of remix work for other artists. Here’s five of the man’s most impressive production flips.
1. Björk, “I Miss You” (Dobie Rub Part One — Sunshine Mix)
Bjork’s music is wonderfully malleable remix material — she even released an early round-up of re-rubs titled The Best Mixes From the Album Debut for All the People Who Don’t Buy White Labels. Here Dobie gets his shot at Ms. Gudmundsdottir’s vocals, as he trades the hyperactive vibe of the Howie B-produced original and turns it into a swarthy lament, weaving in a nod to Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” and inviting South London spitter Rodney P to embellish the track with an eight-bar lament. The outcome’s impeccable.
2. Gang Starr, “You Know My Steez” (Dobie Remix)
Smoothing out DJ Premier’s perky original production, Dobie adds jazzy horn jabs to the mix. The new groove is a natty fit for Guru’s endearing monotone flow.
3. Tricky, “Ponderosa” (Dobie’s Rub Part One)
Trip-hop poster boy Trick’s first take of “Ponderosa” is an eerie lesson in paranoia, capped with Martina Topley-Bird’s wavering vocals. Drafted in for remix duties, Dobie adds a cheery swagger to the blend, as if allowing a peek of sunlight to penetrate through the dreary drawn drapes.
4. Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek, “Down For The Count” (UK Version)
Calling in his UK mates Ty and original London trooper Blak Twang, Dobie gets his hands on a late-era Rawkus offering from the Reflection Eternal duo. Closing home the track, it’s Twang who takes the MC spoils.
5. Brand New Heavies, “Shelter” (Dobie’s The Way It Should Be Mix)
Acid jazz icons the Brand New Heavies scored a couple of crossover pop hits in the early-’90s thanks to the quartet’s sunny grooves and radio-palatable melodies. Here though Dobie roughs up proceedings and imbues “Shelter” with a grittier appeal. It’s a winning new look.
We Will Not Harm You is out now on Ninja Tune.