Dig it? Yeah!
Man, I just can't get back to sleep. I zonked out on the couch midway through The Colbert Report only to be woken a few hours later by those oh so annoying tin drums that provide the soundtrack to the late night Girls Gone Wild commercials. Ugh.
So I need to clear my head of that shite so I can get some sleep, and the only way I know to do that is to play something groovy, and if I'm going to do that I may as well share a cool tune with you while I'm at it. It's a win-win all around!
Sometimes I like to enter an album willfully ignorant of what to expect. I don't read the accompanying press release or bio, I don't do any initial research ... I just enter the first listen completely blank of most expectations. Not all -- since that's just about impossible -- but most.*
In the case of Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Ark 1, all that I knew is that it was a side project of Erol Alkan, a dance producer currently popular with a number of British rock bands. As the album started up my initial reaction was that it sounded an awful like a dance music producer trying to make authentic sounding psych rock with a modern groove mentality in mind.
I had an "a-HA!" moment as the third track fired up, though, recognizing a quote from The Monkees' classic cult larf, Head. As the music started up I thought to myself they were doing an awful good job of approximating the vibe of one of that album's stand-out tracks, "Can You Dig It?" and was digging the dubby middle section ... until Mickey Dolenz's vocals kicked in and I realized that what I was listening to wasn't just an appoximation of "Can You Dig It?" but was in fact a bona fide remix! Who the hell remixes The Monkees?
So it turns out the whole disc is a personal remix project tackling a number of psychadelic tunes,. and I'm giving it props for taking a song I knew well and twisting it enough to make said song sound fresh to my ears after years of familiarity. Had I known what the album was ahead of time though I have to wonder if I would have the same gellful reaction once I realized what was going on. Hm, and if that's the case, I suppose I've ruined the surprise for you too, huh?
Oh well, y'know what? It's worth it ... so dig on the track I so enjoyed from a fresh perspective so recently.
MP3: Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve "Dig It"
*It should be noted I only utilize this approach, when I utilize it at all, for the first listen. I always do my homework before actually writing a review for public consumption.