For our latest 5 Favourite Ollie Teeba, who along with partner in crime Jake Wherry makes up production and DJ behemoth The Herbaliser, has trawled his substantial record collection and picked out his 5 Favourite Remixes. Craftily done to co-incide with the recent release of their excellent There Were Seven – Remixes, Ollie’s selections showcase The Herbaliser’s ear for classic samples, deep appreciation of the remix and know-how when it comes working the crowd (in DJ parlance).
For more on the original release of There Were Seven read our interview with The Herbaliser from a few years back.
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Ed Smith remix)
It’s great when you can grab something as well known and played to death as MJ’s Billie Jean and flip it in a way that not only sounds fresh but like it was meant to be. As a DJ it’s very useful as I’m not known for playing songs this worn out. I can give the punters that are inclined towards the cheesy well known stuff what they want, but in a way that doesn’t make me ashamed of myself.
Eric B & Rakim – Let the Rhythm Hit Em’ (45 King club mix)
There were several remixes of this song released at the time, both UK and US. This is the most superior. The original has a very dope hardcore hip-hop sound, great for blokey head-nodding, but this 45 King Club Mix amps up the funk to make it a much better party joint.
Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez – Happy Soul With a Hook – DJ Format Re-edit
Although this is technically a re-edit rather than a remix it straddles the line between the two with finesse. It has substantially more added to it than a mere re-edit. The first 3rd of the song is straight up banging drum breaks, much like the original (only heavier) but then it flips into a super-funky latin workout.
The Pharcyde – Ya Mama (remix)
This is the definitive version of this song for me. I like all the different mixes but the beats in this one are knocking as f*#k. The first time I got this was on the UK release of Passin’ Me By and it was credited to The Baker Boys but more recently, I got The Pharcyde 45 box set and it was credited as ‘J-Swift’ remix. J did most of the production for Pharcyde so it’s anyones guess really.
Public Enemy – Night Train (Pete Rock Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved mixx)
Although I was a massive PE fan, I felt that Apocalypse 91 was far from their best work. The one thing that really saved that album for me were the fantastic remixes that Pete Rock did of 2 songs from it. Shut ‘Em Down is probably the more remembered of the 2 but my favourite was the remix he did of Night Train. He took the influence from the song’s title which is also shared by a classic James Brown number and “JB’d it up”.
A very familiar sound in hip hop in the 80s and early 90s was (among many others) James Brown’s Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved. Bits of this song would be heard in several classic hip-hop joints each year but none to this extent. It’s almost a mash up really. Best use of the sample ever in my opinion.