Earlier this summer, Preservation released his remix album of Mos Def‘s pre-Yasiin Bey LP The Ecstatic. The tape, appropriately titled The REcstatic, is completely bananas and below, Pres’ gives some details on his process with each track. For 15 of the 16 songs (the final track “Black Fantastic” was produced by Minnesota, but you can read more on that below), Preservation breathes new life into the deepest, darkest crevices he could find around Mos’ vocals for a project that humbly exhibits his craftsmanship. From re-working a J Dilla joint to incorporating the international influences already present in the original album, Pres’ has delivered an inspired piece of work. Clearly, I can’t find enough good to say about The REcstatic, so please do yourself a favor and download it if you haven’t already and read on for the producer’s liner notes.
Before I started the project, a friend of mine who has a crazy Turkish record collection played me a version of the Selda song “Ince Ince.” When I got a hold of it I had to time-stretch it to fit his vocals because of a big difference in pitch with the original. The drums are from a Brazilian psych band that gave it the extra rock it needed.
2. “Twilite Speedball”
The swing of the original always gave me a New Orleans second-line feel, so I wanted to get even more of the brass band element that the original had. I looked through a lot of New Orleans records and high school band records to find a high school band that did great versions of [The] Ohio Players, Marvin Gaye and others. One track had some horn stabs that jumped out perfectly.
I wanted to stay within the Indian sound for this one. When Yasiin performs this song he lets Slick Rick‘s verse play out, so one night I just switched the beat up when his part came up and it worked real nice. I adjusted a couple parts when Rick comes in and laid the cuts on there that I came up with while performing it live.
The original took me to a market in North Africa. I used a record of an Egyptian singer performing live and it had the crowd noise in the background which was what I was looking for to get the outdoor market ambiance. When it comes to incredible string orchestras, Egypt is the place.
This was the second track I worked on for the project and it’s the only one where the beat already existed. For all the others, I created around the vocal. The tempo was right, the horns hit me the same way as the original and it also had good changes to make it a little more up-tempo than the original.
Click through to page 2 to stream Yasiin x Preservation – “Quiet Dog Bite Hard” Refix –>