Michigan’s musical architect Zo! is back with a remix project of some of the hottest soul-house and hip-hop tracks heard in the past few years. From Slum Village and Little Brother reworks to Jill Scott and Vinia Mojica classics, this album proves that Zo!’s been hard at work redefining the sound of urban lounge. Sidestepping the often oversynthesized traps of typical remix discs, every note of reworked production here was played by Zo!, sans the computer wizardry of ProTools. Cuts like Rhian Benson’s “Wanna Say How I Feel” and Vinia Mojica’s “Sands of Time” are already sultry enough, but topped with Zo!’s melodic Fender Rhodes tickling and intricate percussion arrangements and you’ve some serious music for slow, wine-buzzed sexual trysts. The actual song arrangement is essential to the album’s mood; much of Re: Definition’s hip-hop tracks are shot full of soul. Black Thought and Amel Larrieux’s “Glitches” is mad melodic and Little Brother’s “Breath Easy” remix is on some King Britt-meets-Stevie Wonder type shit. Even a slow jam like India Arie’s “Brown Skin” is brought to life with deft guitar work and sly keyboard effects. The groove is thick and urban lounge lovers should cop this with pride.
Album release party is Tuesday, March 29, at the Detroit Beer Company (1529 Broadway, Detroit; 313-962-1529), with Tasherre, Asylum 7, Now On, Finale, and Zo! with Gorilla Funk Mob.
Jonathan Cunningham writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].