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The Art of Transformation

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jun
The Art of Transformation
Sounds like … your favorite GRITS portions from The Art of Translation, reheated and re-served in remix formAt a glance … this remix project is a nice incentive GRITS fans, even if things aren't as artfully transformed as the title suggestsTrack ListingHere We GoOoh AahRunnin'Tennessee BwoysBe MineSeriouslyBelieveGet ItMake RoomSunny DaysLovechildJay Mumbles Mega Mix

It only was a matter of time for someone to take GRITS' seminal The Art of Translation and make it into a full-fledged remix project. But the timing is odd: It's releasing right when two official GRITS albums—Dichotomy A & B—are the main priority at Gotee, the duo's label. That's why the album has released without much fanfare, with Gotee outsourcing its promotion to and the iTunes Music Store (the only two outlets offering this release).

Another factor that makes The Art of Transformation atypical is the choice of remixers. Instead of the usual suspects, producers Liquid Beats, Ric Robbins, and longtime collaborator Pettidee are assigned the task of reinterpreting the cuts. On the whole, the remakes on Transformation aren't huge departures from the source material. "Here We Go" is still a Latinized romp, even if the Afro-Cuban sample comes to the forefront more noticeably. "Seriously" hasn't lost its rock undertones, and the lovely "Be Mine" is nearly identical to the original. "Ooh Ahh" does take on an island feel, while both "Believe" and "Lovechild" are given a symphonic touch, the former recalling the sinister rhythmic style of Dr. Dre. A few cuts are splashed with brassy synths ("Get It," "Tennessee Bwoys"), but for the most part they remain structurally faithful.

It's this reluctance to alter the master tapes, which makes me wonder how big of a Transformation these cuts endured. It's still a must-own for GRITS aficionados, but not necessarily for those who prefer Translation in its original language.