Review of There Were Seven Remixes Album by The Herbaliser

The Herbaliser, comprised of Ollie Teeba and Jake Wherry, have steadily been releasing jazzy, funk inspired hip hop music since 1995, and their output has been as consistent as it is good. This 21 track album is comprised of remixes from their 2012 offering 'There Were Seven', featuring some first class reworkings by 2nd Class Citizen, Colman Brothers, Gigabeatz Bonson and many more, as well as a few instrumentals to boot. There are many twists and turns on this collection of remixes, from cuban influences to dub infused tracks and more trip hoppy feels, but this style variety is something The Herbaliser's music lends itself to so appropriately. 

The Herbaliser There Were Seven Remixes Album

The Gigabeatz Bonson remix of 'The Return Of The Seven' is the first track to blast through the speakers, and the resounding cuts serve as the perfect way to open the album. The piano and flute led track gets a rework from the French producer, who crops up a couple of times on this project. The Soundsci crew are responsible for the fantastic remix of 'Zero Hill'; a bass driven track featuring one of the sickest beats I've heard for a long time. The Canadian based Twin Peaks are a great hip hop duo in their own right, and their vocals on this track are memorable, skilful and confident. Twin Peaks crop up again on 'Crimes & Misdemeanours', the first remix we hear is from Gigabeatz Bonson once again, with a funky joint featuring shrill brass samples and expert cuts, combined with a hypnotic jazzy piano loop. The Lopez remix of this track is a more electronic affair, with a pounding kick drum and tense synthesizers creating a very different, but equally dope version.  

The crunchy production of 'March Of The Dead Things', courtesy of Krilla, is incredibly hard hitting, and the half time trip hop drums of the breakdown are also a nice addition. Teenburger, comprised of Ghettosocks (also of Twin Peaks) and Timbuktu, put in a stellar performance here. The energetic vocals sit well over the swelling brass stabs and synth lines. The Hugo Kant version of this track is more guitar driven, and this approach is also an impressive one. The full band sound lends itself to the more funked up style of the track, and it says a lot about Teenburger's ability that their flows work over both production styles with no problem at all. 

This collection of remixes is a really good one. The Herbaliser's left-field 'There Were Seven' album gets a reworking in a variety of styles, from the trip hop Legendary Danny K remix of 'The Lost Boy' to the full on electronica of 2nd Class Citizen's remix of 'Mother Dove', and everything in-between. Both the instrumental and the vocal led tracks are nicely separated, and the songs that feature with more than one version are always reworked in a completely different style, and that truly is a testament to The Herbaliser's quality work on the original album, and also to the excellent producers involved on this project. 


Sam Bennett

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