Miles Davis/Various DJ’s

Miles Davis/Various DJ’s

Panthalassa: The Remixes

Columbia

The scenario had little variation. Every time that I mentioned to an acquaintance that I had been sent the Miles Davis remix CD, the response was the same. When the words “Miles Davis” were uttered, their eyes would light up with interest, but the following “remix” would brutally extinguish that light and instead a disdainful eyebrow would raise. Fine. Sure, this is not as apparently earth-shattering as Miles Davis’ original works were, but guess what? If the man were still alive, he would appreciate this record. The thing that everyone forgets about Miles Davis is that in his later years, he worked tirelessly to update his music with the times, and that DID include incorporating synthesizers and other electronic ephemera. Nick Kent’s “The Dark Stuff” paints the definitive picture of Davis during this time. He was this eccentric mad scientist almost, and he really looked the part. Davis spoke at length to Kent about keeping his music on (what was then) the cutting edge of electronic wizardry.

So now that I’ve taken the time to justify the record, let me backpedal for just a moment. It’s not all that good. I mean, it’s quite good, but nothing life-altering, which is what I expect from the combined talents of DJ Cam, Bill Laswell, and (posthumously) Davis. Bill Laswell, in particular, contributes a remix of “On the Corner” that sounds suspiciously like every other remix he has been turning out for the past couple of years. A gold star goes to King Britt and Philip Charles for their Photek-esque remix of “Shhhh (Sea4 Miles Remix).” Tres lush. It’s good music to study to, but hardly the soundtrack of a revolution.

Columbia Records, 550 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022

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