Incognito – More Tales Remixed

More Tales Remixed
Heads Up – 2009
Ray Redmond

Incognito has to be one of the more prolific groups on the scene. I guess the more darts you throw, the more likely you are to hit the bulls eye. Last summer they put out their Tales from the Beach on Heads Up records and everyone raved.

Now Incognito’s Mauritius-born guitarist/founder/frontman Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick has gotten some world DJs like Dimitri from Paris & DJ Meme from Brazil, Brooklyn’s Tortured Soul, UK’s Ski Oakenfull, Germany’s Christian Prommer and many others to put out a remix of the CD.

“From its conception to current times, Incognito has had one foot in the dance world and another in live concert performance,” says Bluey. “Along that path, the two have crossed and merged and become one. DJs and the club connection have been as strong a point of reference as our live performances throughout our history.”

More Tales Remixed is another permutation of the rich multicultural sounds that first made their way into Bluey’s consciousness during his childhood. “When I was a kid, my first taste of music came from the beaches of Mauritius,” he says. “I spent a lot of time listening to the hotel bands, or the bands playing around the bonfires and cookouts. It’s a small island, so there were beaches everywhere. I was always watching live musicians play. So for inspiration for Tales from the Beach, I went back to various beaches around the world – in Italy, Indonesia and elsewhere – and just let the music flow.” When that natural flow meets the rhythmic undercurrent of the many talented DJs in Bluey’s international circle of musical associates, the result is a tidal wave from start to finish.

Dimitri & DJ Meme’s combination of lush strings over uplifting beats take the opening track, “Step Aside,” to a whole new level. The track is a defiant declaration of independence delivered by lead vocalist Joy Rose and propelled by a pulsating bass line, funky horns and the shimmering rhythm of the exotic-sounding African shekere.

Tortured Soul brings an ’80s-style synthesized groove to their remix of “Love Joy Understanding.” After meeting the band at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Bluey sent the band the track and gave them free rein. “There was no brief, and they were left to their own devices. When I heard what they had done, I was grinning from ear to ear.”

Yam Who? weighs in on “Freedom To Love” and reconnects Bluey and company to their early jazz-funk roots. “This reminds me of all my previous bands – Light of the World, Freeez and the early Incognito sound,” says Bluey. “Yam’s jams are always exciting, but I think he has outdone himself here. He’s a Brit-funk mate!”

Francis Hylton’s mix pays tribute to the late Isaac Hayes with a funky soul mix of “I Remember a Time” that retains the poignant vocals of Maysa Leak, a recurring and consistently popular figure in the Incognito lineup.

Keyboardist Matt “The Latin Project” Cooper closes the set by reverting to his Outside guise for his remix of “Tales from the Beach.” Bluey notes: “As with any Outside-related tracks, no prisoners were taken.”

“Though I’m an out-and-out jazz funker,” says Bluey, “anyone who truly knows me knows how much I love soulful house music. More Tales Remixed is a continuation of Incognito’s journey on the parallel lines of live and dance music.