Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Nuyorican Soul - It's Alright, I Feel It! (Roni Size Remix)

Nuyorican Soul - It's Alright, I Feel It! (Roni Size Remix) (Talkin' Loud, 1997)

Nuyorican is a term which combines "New York" and "Puerto Rican" and refers to both the Puerto Rican community in New York and an arts movement which began in the 1960s. Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and "Little" Louie Vega's Nuyorican Soul project saw the house producers go back to their roots with an album that featured several musicians from the movement's heyday including Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri.

Yesterday I looked at DJ Krust's sampling of 'Nautilus (Mawtilus)' but this wasn't the first time the Full Cycle collective had crossed paths with Nuyorican Soul as Roni Size had already provided a sprawling 13 minute remix of 'It's Alright, I Feel It!', which features the powerful vocals of Jocelyn Brown.

The remix is very much in the vein of Reprazent's New Forms album that was released a few months later. The extended intro opens with the original's joyous piano melody with drums that gradually build up using the 'Cold Sweat', 'Hot Pants' and 'Apache' breaks. Over this the "It's alright, I feel it" vocals are looped and joined by double bass and strings. At close to the four minute mark the bass and drums drop out for Jocelyn Brown's vocals to take centre stage:

"The music in my life has kept me through / All of the changes the world has put me through / But it's alright, I feel it / But it's alright, I feel it! / This feeling that you get can change things / The power of the groove will always see you through / But it's alright, I feel it / But it's alright, I feel it!"

This brings in a stomping double bass led section with a descending five note riff alongside those incredible rolling drums. The looped vocals and piano slowly come back in until a second breakdown around the eight minute mark after which the track becomes more fragmented as the focus returns to Brown's vocals. A stunning remix that manages to surpass an already great track, one with a message about the power of music that has helped me get through a few tough times. As the closing line of this remix says: "The music's got a magic to it / If it feels real good, let the feeling change you".

Nuyorican Soul returned the favour with an even more sprawling remix of Reprazent's 'Watching Windows' which also incorporates elements from 'Brown Paper Bag'. Check it out below:

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