While her impressive lineage is hard to deny (dad Joao is considered the grand pubah of bossanova), Brazilian chanteuse Bebel Gilberto is too progressive to simply rest on a legacy. Both of her full-length efforts — flooded with infectious pop — harbored enough electronica affectations anyways. That’s why remix albums like this seem too easy an option (some might say cash-in) to follow up with.
Though many would cry it’s better to leave well enough alone, Gilberto and her label, Six Degrees, are impulsive and savvy enough to pick a solid array of producers to retool her cuts. Just like its predecessor, Tanto Tempo Remixes, this bonus set features hotshots and up-and-comers, both eagerly willing to add extra spice to these already sexy tracks. While some are mostly faithful to the originals — like Guy Sigsworth’s string-enhanced version of “O Caminho” — Nuspirit Helsinki makes “Winter” his own with a building tech-house ode that adds chilling girth to Gilberto’s croons. Telefon Tel Aviv adds organic elements and crackling textures, as they slow “All Around” into sprawling, warm trip-hop.
While acts like Thievery Corporation are a given for a project like this (and almost redundant if you ask me), the group’s increasingly leftfield nature provokes some cinematic, psychedelic twists to the samba grooves of “Cada Beijo.” But these heavyweights are outshined by newcomers like Spiritual South, who add some electro-acid synthesis to “Aganju.” On the other end of the BPM spectrum, Steve Hillier lends a twinkling, orchestral backdrop to the classy, romantic “Next To You,” sure to fan the flames between lovers.
The majority of tracks on Remixed are sonically disparate and inviting enough to demand a few listens, and its lineup is equally as impressive for technophiles. But seeing as her regular album could’ve elicited nearly the same emotion, it’s hard to gauge whether a remixed Gilberto can elevate beyond a level where she’s relegated to swanky martini bars or hipster soirees. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t heat up these aforementioned fetes.
Six Degrees: www.sixdegreesrecords.com