Re:Generation Music Project
JOHN BARDSLEY has a lot of time for the Re:Generation Music Project. It’s quality and it’s free. What’s not to love?
Take well-known artists and put them slightly out of their comfort zone. Make them experiment with other artists and then give away the results for free.
This is the concept behind the Re:Generation Project. Mark Ronson, DJ Premier, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Skrillex, all experts in their craft get in the studio to make some cracking tracks. In an age blighted by genre-labelling and narrow minded ideas of what different types of music should sound like, a project like this is extremely refreshing; its focus is on good music, no matter what the style is.
Mark Ronson- A la Modeliste ft. ft Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, Mos Def, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Members of The Dap Kings
This fantastic fusion of New Orleans Jazz is a real treat to listen to. Ronson’s great production glues all of these different artists and styles together- no mean feat. The ‘re:generation’ is very clear in this track; this is jazz that anybody can relate to – not so overly complex that the average guy is left totally confused, but interesting enough to maintain credibility amongst music eggheads. Trombone Shorty and Erykah Bady ooze style effortlessly and we needn’t be surprised that Jazz hero Zigaboo Modeliste brings the funk on the drums. Definitely my favourite track of the series, it’s just a really listenable yet adventurous piece of music.
The Crystal Method- I’m Not Leaving (ft Martha Reeves and The Funk Brothers)
The thing I love most about this track is that the beginning doesn’t give you a full picture of where the song is going. Bluesy, soulful yet dangerously funky guitar lines really combine nicely with the Crystal Method’s signature glitch electro vibes. The wah pedal is as powerful as ever. And I haven’t even mentioned the sultry vocals. Yum.
Pretty Lights- Wayfaring Stranger (ft LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Ralph Stanley)
Country blues intro gives way to a solid electro beat- a powerful electronic track that is also emotionally involving- something very few producers manage to do. Electro with soul doesn’t always have to sound boring and weak; it can sound like this.
DJ Premier- Regeneration (ft Nas and The Berklee Symphony Orchestra)
Hip-Hop LEGEND DJ Premier collaborates with another absolute legend Nas and a professional symphony orchestra. Eyebrows raised? Will this work? Well, it kind of does. Not perfect, but it makes me smile. These sort of projects are meant to be experimental and that’s what this is; something you wouldn’t usually hear. It works miles better than Nero’s Dubstep Symphony and shows you can be tasteful when combining different genres of music. Also, DJ Premier scratching over an orchestra is fucking epic.
Skrillex- Breakin’ A Sweat (Ft. Members of the Doors)
Ah, Skrillex. What most of his many haters don’t actually tell you is that he’s an extremely good producer. Many have tried to imitate his sound and they have all been found wanting. Why? Because like it or not he has a unique sound. It may not be traditional dubstep, but who cares. This track is a banger. Ok, it’s very moshy, but that’s not always a bad thing. If all electro artists sounded ‘emotional’ like James Blake it would be boring. We need guys like Skrillex to bring the noise sometimes. Also, he is collaborating with the Doors; just having their name on the track makes it worth checking out.
Download all the tracks (plus 5 bonus remixes) for free: http://www.regenerationmusicproject.com/music/