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Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed


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Audio CD, February 24, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Distribution
  • ASIN: 5559812897
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on February 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought this used thinking it was a sampler from the "Long River of Song," the great series of African American traditional music recorded by the late Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax across the South in the 1930s and the early 1940s for the Library of Congress. In his last years, Lomax who died a couple years ago, edited the thousands of recordings his father and he had made into a set of CDs covering the whole South. There is such great music there. People really neglect Black folk music and they will realize why they shouldn't once they hear these recordings.

Say what you will about them--and I have critiqued the view of culture and manipulations of tradition the Lomaxes have done elsewhere, see in particular my Amazon review of the complete Mississippi recordings Lomax did with Muddy Waters--the whole Long River of Song is simply essential for anyone who wants to know the real roots of Black music, the real roots of so much non-Black southern traditional music, and for the matter just to listen to some good sounds.

On this CD, we have contemporary jazz-blues musicians sampling these traditional Black southern songs--blues, dance music, chain gang music, cries to God--and coming up with a comfortable mix between the original folk musicians and themselves. The outcome shows the marriage of contemporary Black music with its folk roots.

At first I was annoyed because I thought I was going to hear more traditional music. I am a traditional banjo, fiddle, and guitar player who seeks to replicate the sounds of traditional black string band music. However, as the CD went on, I became to see what was in common to all the selections was the common Africanness of the music.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By nicjaytee on March 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The idea behind this intriguing album is to combine original vocal recordings from the 40's & 50's with "up to date" blues/hip-hop arrangements. A recipe for disaster? Fortunately not... rather an atmospheric and exciting remix that successfully marries the raw power of these "true blues" singers with sympathetically structured backing tracks. The end effect? Well, the problem with a lot of old blues recordings is their thin and often rudimentary instrumentation that adds little to the emotion of the vocals - by placing them in a more complex and much richer framework, Lomax adds to their power rather than abusing it. Clever and, with only a few exceptions, highly effective. But, like many of these strange marriages, better not to analyse it too much and to take what's on offer at face value... quite simply one of the best "modern" blues albums of recent years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mungiart on May 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely incredible, mixed,remixed, or whatever, capturing some of the sounds of the past and the present in this one great scoop.
Folk , gospel, spiritual, blues all come together. It captures all emotions: happy, sad and all in between. GET IT NOW!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Trucksis on October 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like to imagine what it would be like for the "singers" on this
CD to come back from the dead and hear how terrific this makes them
sound! When I was a kid, my mother used to comment on lousy pop singers,
and say, "With all the tricks they use in the studio, they can make
anybody sound good." She was right back then, and even more so now
with the proliferation of mediocre pop.

But when you hear these field hollers and folk songs, these people
were singing from the heart, and you can tell. By adding the various
sonic landscapes to them, they take on even more interest and beauty.
If any of these singers were to hear this CD and NOT love how they
sound, I'd be amazed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Snoble on May 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In the words of Mac "Dr John" Rebennack -You can't shut the Fonk up! This is one fonky mixture of second line R&B, techno, and of course some of the wonderful early recordings of Alan Lomax. Not a bad track to be found here, but coolest of all is the final cut, "Soldier". This marriage of Hi-test Techno and Gospel on Steroids has to be heard to be believed. This cut alone is worth the price of many CDs. Sweeeet!
Buy it, you'll like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pink Noodle on September 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The producers "used mainly a cappella recordings from the Lomax Archive, such as field hollers, work songs from prisoners, and a couple of recordings from the Georgia Sea Islands. They constructed instrumental tracks around them, often adding jazzy chord changes, while usually preserving the rhythmic feel of the original recordings. [They used live blues & jazz musicians.] In fact, there are only a few of the remixed tracks that could be considered dance material. One is an unlikely combination of an old fishing song with a reggae beat, while another maintains the sound of the prisoner chopping with his axe in time to the music, and uses that as part of the rhythmic motif. Billington and Reynolds also go further and sometimes combine two very differed field recordings in a single track which ends up sounding remarkably coherent. The result is a very interesting and enjoyable album that can change one's perception of sampling...

"While there are those who think that the remix fad is a great art form, there are others of us who consider the field the realm of plagiarizers and people incapable of coming up with their own music. It's a rare occasion when the concept works as well as it does on Tangle Eye's debut release Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed, especially given the reverence accorded by many to the source material. Of course, folk music purists will likely still consider this a bastardization. But unlike most other remixers and sample jockeys, Tangle Eye consists of real musicians playing real instruments with a respect for the original source material, as well as a sense of adventure.
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