Dance remixing is not just putting a beat to a pop song. But try telling that to people who buy stuff like "Bump14", and they'll probably beat you to death with the contents of the nearest Musica bargain bin. And tell a rock-only fan that that there's more to life than Zep and they'll probably dismiss you as a crowd-follower and fashion victim (read: someone who's listened to a new release in the last ten years.)
But of course, there's more to life than people like that. And Derek "The Bandit's" popularity proves it. His feel-good and funky attitude stands astride the dance-pop divide. It's not brilliant, universal stuff - it just builds on the talents of those he remixes - Kelis ("Milkshake"), Simply Red ("Sunrise"), David Bowie ("Heroes"), The Chemical Brothers ("Get yourself high") and Xtina's awesome "Beautiful" - vocals are not necessarily by the original artists, so often the remix is more of a complete "remake", but a respectful one.
OK, so it's not identifiably South African, and it's not wildly ground breaking either. It is rather Derek's attempt to reach the audience who, according to his web biography, would call on the way home from parties during his 2-6am 5fm slot, and request rubbish like "2 unlimited and Euro cheesy stuff". In fact, the lack of something both accessible and good was what drove him to make his own mixes in the first place.
It seems most SA dance buyers currently have a complete lack of any taste whatsoever. They'll line up to buy the latest "Bump" compilation. Well the good news is: Derek "The Bandit" appeals even to the musically moronic masses, without being so awful that people with more sophisticated taste feel alienated, bored and depressed on the dance floor.
In the right mood, almost anyone could probably get down and get sweaty to this, without hard drugs or a frontal lobotomy!
- Jean Barker
So what are you in for with 'Big Tunes with Funky Remixes'? Twenty-one slamming, pumping and, yes, deeply funky tunes, I can't wait to see what's hot in Derek the Bandit's box next...- Nadia Samie for iAfrica.com, who gave it ***
Dance purists won't welcome this energetic collection of remixes of mainly R&B/Soul hits. Rock types will probably dismiss it as meaningless doef doef music. Actually, Big Tunes is a good compromise between 5fm/Kfm culture, and actual creativity.
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