Three years is forever for a modern record so you are forgiven if you don’t recall who Mike Steva is. Or was. Who Am I was the name of his 2014 album that fit perfectly in the Yoruba catalog – broken beats, jazzy and soulful house that didn’t seem out of place beside records from Osunlade, Carlos Mena, Nomumbah or Santos.
Then, out of nowhere: a remix album of the very same Who Am I. Before your eyes roll up in your skull from contemplating the length of it (19 tracks!), glance through the list of producers who lent an ear and some soul to this: Rick Wilhite. Louie Vega. Rocco. Anthony Nicholson. Raoul K. Seven Davis, Jr. Rob Paine. Atjazz. Manoo. It almost reads like a compilation – the distillation of a label’s greatest hits over a lengthy period of time rather than a (mostly) track-by-track remix of a three year old album.
And then put on your headphones and listen. Gorgeous sounds, percussion that’s light and flits over a heavy, rotund bass, original keys and vibes added in for natural and artificial flavoring. Striking at the roots, most of these veer on the soulful side, the deep side, with just enough Afro-Latin swing to make them sweep up the energy of the room and concentrate it at the centerpoint of the dancefloor. A wonderful record, friendly to DJs but worthy of listening to alone as well.
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Mike Steva: Who Am I (Remixes) (Yoruba)
1. ReSoulution – Seven Davis Jr. Club Remix (6:40)
2. Who Am I – Godson’s Cosmic Remix (8:03)
3. Oasis Resolution – Atjazz Remix (6:30)
4. Freedom – Rob Paine Remix (7:25)
5. Weekend Love – Louie Vega Dance Ritual Dub (8:25)
6. Freedom – DJeff Remix (8:04)
7. Oasis – Hallex M Remix (6:53)
8. Kecak – Anthony Nicholson Afrodiscospace Remix (9:55)
9. Kecak – Dhundee Wet Remix (5:21)
10. Pelagonia – Rocco Remix (7:16)
11. ReSoulution – Alex Barck Remix (7:17)
12. Moment In Time – Craig Smith Remix (6:14)
13. Kecak – Hallex M Remix (7:33)
14. Who Am I – Mr. Raoul K’s Afrothings Remix Shortplay (9:59)
15. Oasis – Arno E. Mathieu Democratic Dub (9:58)
16. Oasis – Arno E. Mathieu Democratic Vox Mix (9:56)
17. ReSoulution – Simbad Solution Remix (6:14)
18. Who Am I – Mr. Raoul K’s Remix (9:57)
19. Who Am I -Manoo’s Journey To The West (8:42)