The legendary Verve label started opening their vaults to various producers nearly a decade ago. It's been quite sometime since we heard a new one of their Verve Remixed compilations, and that makes The First Ladies that much more interesting. There's a whole new crop of producers out there and the musical landscape has been through numerous changes. Instead of Masters At Work and MJ Cole we're treated to reinterpretations from artists like Toro Y Moi and Azari And III. As the title of the release implies the focus is on the women of Verve this time around. Verve had the luck of releasing music from pretty much all of the heavyweight female vocalists of the 50s and 60s. From Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, not to mention Nina Simone, they are all represented here. The choice of remixers runs the gamut from the big room house of Kaskade to the hyper kinetic bass workouts of Zeds Dead. Thankfully Verve was smart enough to include some female remixers on the compilation, as both Maya Jane Coles and TOKiMONSTA turn in some of the best takes. I have to say I'm partial to the Maya Jane Coles remix of Ella Fitzgerald's "Blue Skies." Her minimal approach leaves plenty of space for Fitzgerald's vocals. Just as there is plenty of stylistic diversity in the source material on Verve Remixed: The First Ladies, there is quite a bit in the remixers as well. This approach makes it so there's something for everyone. Limited edition double LP pressing, includes one black and one red vinyl.
- music label: Verve Records 2013
reviewed by Joey Coco 08/2013