SummaryFania Records recently released the first remix collection "I Like it Like That" pairing up the hottest dance scene remixers with legendary tracks by Fania artists like Pete Rodriguez, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón and Rubén Blades. This album marks the first time the label has remixed its classics tracks, joining forces with today's dance masters to take the Fania flavor up a notch.
Star tracks include Aaron Jerome's remix of Pete Rodriguez's I like it Like That, Louie Vegas' EOL Remix of his uncle, Héctor Lavoe's, Mi Gente, Bugz in the Attic's Plástico, originally by Willie Colón and Rubén Blades, and Joe Claussell's Aléjate, originally by Héctor Lavoe.
"When it came down to remixing Fania tracks, we knew we'd have to hold out until we had a star line-up of contemporary artists," said Dean Rudland, A&R Consultant for Emusica and album co-producer. "With "I like It Like That", we feel that we've really done each track justice by having today's music stars inject their own music sensibility, creating new classics for the Fania label."
"As an artist, it was a tall order to work with tracks that mean so much to Fania fans worldwide," added Louie Vega "I hope that we've been able to enhance the Fania catalog with our individual takes on each of these tunes."
Fania artists mixed a cornucopia of styles that transcended the boundaries of traditional Latin music and set the path for the genres of salsa, boogaloo, Latin R&B, and afro-Cuban jazz. Throughout its forty-two year history, Fania has been home to some of the greatest musicians in the history of 20th century music. Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Joe Cuba, Joe Bataan, Larry Harlow, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz are just a few of the musical legends that form part of the proud Fania legacy.
First up Aaron Jerome kicks in hard with the killer title track I Like It Like That, the Latin tune you never knew you knew. The original version was a monster hit in 1967 by South Bronx bunch Pete Rodriguez y Su Conjunto - NY born-and-bred Puerto Ricans jamming their bi-cultural souls out with montunos hitting high-charged funk and R&B - the sheer energy and that contagious hook line made it the quintessential boogaloo tune of all time. Hip hop pioneer DJ Format, produced a storming remix of Dave Cortez & The Moon People which was a previous sell-out 12" [you may have caught the original tune Hippy, Skippy Moon Strut sampled in Christina Aguilera's 'Ain't No Other Man']. Latino legends Willie Colon and Ruben Blades' caustic critique of materialistic US culture Plastico gets the funky Bugz treatment. Masters at Work Louie Vega's 11 minute re-work of Mi Gente is an epic tribute to his uncle Hector Lavoe, a phenomenally gifted vocalist and absolute icon of Latin music. Louie's version gives full reign to the powerhouse all star orquestra as it builds into a sublime high. Next up, Nicola Conte and Roberto Roena seem made for each other on Take Five on a mix that feels totally natural and lifts beautifully. Radio 1 DJ and all-round music guru Gilles Peterson delivers a great mix of Noro Morales' Saona with Simbad - again this was a sell out 12" in 2007 described by DJ magazine as 'a shimmering slice of sci-fi induced Latino madness'. Indeed. Conga player Ray Barretto was one of the Fania stars who crossed over into jazz and soul in a big way, with chart hits, cult status and not forgetting, very cool glasses. Gotan Projects's Philippe Cohen Solal and Haaksman+Haaksman collaborating as SHH put a spacey spin on O Elefante, a typically assured and free-thinking Barretto Afro-jazz composition - the Spanish spoken word lyric quests the [concrete] jungle looking for Barretto riding atop an unstoppable elephant. Maybe it's no surprise that the name of Ray's best known album is 'Acid'... Quantic's lovely loose skanking remix of the rootsy Boogaloo de Johnny gives a perfect kick to this vintage classic by Fania founder Johnny Pacheco. 4 Hero duo Dego (McFarlane) and Marc Mac (Mark Clair) produce a beautiful remix of I Didn't Want to Have To Do It by the incredible singer Ralfi Pagan, yet another window into the deep riches of the Fania archive. Fania All Stars' Steady gets an old-school b-boy shake-up by Andy 'El Documento' Smith and Keith Lawrence [a catch it if you can 7"] while Brazil's blazing baile funk outfit Bonde do Role give timbalero Lenni Sesar's Morris Park a total funk carioca re-work - with goofy new vocals provided by Pedro D'eyrot. Vocalist La Lupe was Fania's original fire-brand diva. An incredible performer who would bite musicians and throw her shoes at the crowd, La Lupe burned red-hot and in 1968 had an extraordinary hit with her version of Fever. Sinden's mischievious remix is a dirty electro melt-down which woulda made the lady proud! Celebrated producer and DJ Ashley Beedle takes us out with his barrio disco remix of Ricardo Marrero's floating Feel Like Making Love, one of the tunes which kicked off the 12" series leading to this amazing collection.