Watcha Clan with Various Artists – Diaspora Remixed

Watcha Clan with Various Artists – Diaspora Remixed

Watcha Clan with Various Artists – Diaspora Remixed

If there’s such a thing, underneath the underground of world music, Watcha Clan’s Diaspora Hi-Fi was somewhat of a, well, underground hit. Brimming with a uniqueness that exposes life-loving and exploring musicians, the artists behind this clan are living life to the fullest extent.

After touring the globe, in which some notoriety and acclaim was well-received, Watcha Clan met a collection of musicians, producers and DJs that would lend their hand in any way they could. A melting pot of sounds that include ethnic grooves and tribal beats, these DJs left a lasting impact. This brotherhood of musicians came together and have all aided in remixing such aforesaid album.

Diaspora Remixed is something both all-encompassing and compelling. Never attempting to be something it’s not (you aren’t going to find arrangements that stretch and destroy the original compositions), the men and women at the helm satisfy with the best touches. A few handclaps here, some atmospherics over there and even a few instances where the original is laid down to a different genre and either sped up or slowed down.

Released on a record that collects six of the finest choices and a digital release that employs all of the remixes, everything is amassed with a careful eye and ear. In the middle of the second side is Shazalakazoo’s remix of “Goumari.” Staying true to the same tempo and vocals, the kazoo virtuosi adds heavier percussion and high-pitched calls for elation. And before that, EarthRise SoundSystem covers the same song, except here it’s laid-back and where the vocals provide the melody in the original, here it’s conveyed through oud player, Brahim, incorporating elements from the original such as the rebab.

The digital release features a slew of extra goodies that are on par with the best cuts on the vinyl edition. Everything from 80s keyboards (“Eli” Barrio Populaire remix) to frenetic drill n’ bass (“Limu” Mars Exist remix) is featured and it all sounds directly forceful. There’s no one holding back- instead, everyone is here to have a good time, dance and more importantly, to make good music.

Other DJs would do well by starting any club night with London giants TransGlobal Underground’s remix of “Lei Le Ha.” Booming, powerful and infectious, it’s a smooth flow of confident appeal and swagger. And later, like something Beirut’s own trumpet players would create comes the explosive clatter of Mr. Kazoo’s “Balkan Qoulou.” Even better than his other selection, he scales the octaves of his kazoo with a skillful brilliance. All in all, it may just be the best mix of the bunch.

I can’t help but feel like their aim wasn’t so much to make a serious release filled with clamor and fight but that this is meant to entice and excite. It’s a testament to these musicians’ heart and style that such decisions and ballsy moves prove to be the best ones. And when even the DJs they’ve worked with can go toe to toe with established artists like Watch Clan, who knows what they have cooking up next.

Piranha