Coalmine Records Presents
Remineded: A Collection of Old and New Remixes
Coalmine Records is dusting off the diamonds. Giving some of the hottest single tracks to their cache of boom bap aficionados, Coalmine allows the producers to expand the sound. Names like Large Pro, Small Professor, M-Phazes and more help these rappers revive some classics. Each rapper on this carries their verses, not a bad sixteen here. The real question is simple; does this comp revitalize Coalmine standards with fresh perspective in production. Hell, yeah, it does.
If you are going to open an album, Sean Price’s grizzly voice delivering sinister syllables and wondrous word play over blaring horns is a hell of a way to do that. Hearing Heltah Skeltah back together is an absolute lure. They have popped up on a few compilations in recent years and this track is slamming. The snap of the snare in the drums which adds the funk in Audible Doctor’s mix is accompanied by DJ Revolutions zigga zigga. This is a gritty headbanger.
Skyzoo’s lyricism and plush delivery get a Small Professor remix for his track, “Strung Out”. Small Pro taps some seventies’ strings to echo Skyzoo’s smooth voice. The rough funk of the track is in the mackadocious bass line and afro-beat drums – each adding notes in the entire measure; never relying on filler. El Da Sensei, from the Bricks’ Artifacts, had been steady pumping solo albums in the 2000’s. Now, he found a resurgence in his two LPs with The Returners. This song is from that featuring MeLa Machinko. Now touring Europe with DITC honcho, AG, Sensei continues to prove his skill and dedication. M-Phazes’ production knocked me for a loop on the EP with Sean P. His joint with Pharoah, “Get Down”, was dope, too. He continues to impress with a heavy piano chop here.
GMJ graces a track with a refreshing g-funk tribute. Supernatural, an underground stalwart, takes this track’s crisp funk that Too $hort and DJ Quik would snag in a Bay Area second and spits ridiculously smooth. The West Coast vibe, a la King Tee, is ever present in the synth heavy track while the bass and guitar strings pluck along. Supernatural lends a dose of his superior and dynamic flow.
“Kiss the Sky” finds the Queens’ legend, Large Pro, handing the comp a stomping beat for heads to nod to. West Coast youngen, Blu, decimates the drum heavy beat. His syllabic dexterity is energetic. Golden Era high tones, sparsely placed by Large Pro, add interesting contrast to the gritty bass; a tried and true technique that Large Pro helped to define back in the nineties. Rev’s scratches and elements of Meth and B-Real in the hook make this joint a classic.
“One For the Money” is a dirty, stinky funk track. Pairing top tier Royce 5’9” with DITC king, Diamond D, and a boisterous Skillz with a new Manaz remix is fire. Synths and scratches push a catchy hook that Royce gives between each verse. The star of the layers is the main guitar riff. It harbors a low tone and filtered sound that amps up any head bobbing along. You know these dudes got bars. Manaz places a lingering organ over the break in the back end which maintains the fury of the track.
“Naturally Born” makes me sad because this single is older; and I keep waiting for an entire album from this trio of Big Noyd (Mobb Deep) and the gangsta icon, KGR, and the legend, Large Pro. In the meantime, I will be satiated with a remix which is heavy on the SP drum-pad. This Queens trio originally had an Ayatollah beat with a seductive bass line. This approaches the song from an entirely different angle. Snare heavy drums and strewn out horns supply a new energy to this track. This Cookin’ Soul remix also opens with some Run DMC sample and a crowd cheering that cultivates raw energy. Samples throughout add variety and doesn’t let the song lull for a second.
“Boyz II Men” shows the mastery of Diamond D as he weaves an Asian guitar sample that employs a tension to the aggressive first verse from Blu from his LP with Nottz. As much as love Public Enemy’s frantic myriad of samples or nineties’ Sir Jinx with a bevy of instruments; DITC often can achieve the same gripping sound with very little. The rolling big drums peppered here and there add depth and a large imperial sound to this. Blu continues to impress me with his lyrics and magnetic flow.
The most gleaming of diamonds of Coalmine in the past few years was that Guilty Simpson/Small Pro and Sean Price/M-Phazes double EP. The final two tracks harvest two tracks that. “Land of the Crooks’, aka BK, gets a remix by DJ Pain and Divided Souls. P opens with an ill verse over a dirty Hammond playing slow notes that ooze. Billy Danze (MOP) and Ragazino band together with Rock to rep Brooklyn here. This single stuck out and again the remix shines for its opposite approach. I do love hearing Pete Nice sampled here, “Otherwise known as Crook-land”. A nice, calm bass slips along frets , mixed low, smooths out against the rough drums and machine gun samples.
From the D, Guilty’s song with Small Professor featuring Euclid and Castle, get s all mixed up by Zilla Rocca. Big drums are the main weapon here. Big toms go through an echo filter and give a grand sound. Other drums are split in occasionally, adding layers. Zilla plays with the breakdown as the second verse comes in. He rides it through the verse with a reverb collage and a flute loop. “Brooklyn niggas paint portraits” by GZA loops as we melt into the third section, a completely different track. Zilla still utilizes a variety of snares and drums to bang through this more electro feel to end the jam. It’s trippy and club kids would dig it.
Even if you have each of these tracks in your catalog, all of these of fresh new talks on the songs. The depthe of Diamond and Large Pro sit very well with me. But having producers from around the world, and as dope as Small Pro and M-Phazes, have all the tracks stand equally. Compilations are always tough; especially when trying to encapsulate a labels sound. Either it is the hot joint you have heard a million times or three slamming tracks with a bunch of filler. But when you have KGR, Royce, Skyzoo, Sensai, DIamond D, Heltah Skeltah, Guilty, Blu and more on this, this is golden from the first track to the last. Cop it.