The Remix Collection
Much like Diamanda Galas, the multi-tenored Natacha Atlas enchants and hypnotizes through her voice alone, often using it more as a conventional instrument through Middle Eastern-derived motifs than a mere mouthpiece for lyrics and such. And on the tell-tale The Remix Collection, Atlas gets spliced n’ diced by a diverse crew of producers and DJs, including Klute, Youth, DJ Spooky, and her old friends Transglobal Underground. But for as diverse as this crew is, The Remix Collection stands quite coherently as a front-to-back recording, moving oh-so-effortlessly, for example, from 16B’s silky deep-house remix of “Amulet” to the Underground’s hard dancehall remix of “Yalla Chant” to a placid drum n’ bass rendering of the aforementioned “Amulet,” courtesy of TJ Rehmi. At the forefront, of course, is Atlas’ otherworldly voice, snippets of it here, whole segments of it there, always infinitely more enchanting and mysterious than the dubious “diva” vocals of most Euro-dance tracks, certainly staking a claim for more engaging, yet somehow more elusive vocal parts in said musical pool — let’s hope The Remix Collection provides the blueprint. Then again, that’s going to necessitate some serious gene-splicing to even approach Atlas’ level of distinction.
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