Lucia Cadotsch – Speak Low Renditions
( http://www.luciacadotsch.bandcamp.com/yum and on cassette. Review by Tony Dudley-Evans)
Lucia Cadotsch is a Swiss vocalist based in Berlin whose album Speak Low with bass player Petter Eldh and saxophonist Otis Sandsjo, devoted to well-known songs such as Moon River, Don’t Explain and Strange Fruit, had a rare straightforward beauty. The trio played two UK dates at the Vortex London and mac Birmingham (TDE Promotions) (REVIEW).
Cadotsch has followed it up with a new recording featuring a series of remixes.
The artists making the remixes come from quite different backgrounds: Trummerschlunk, Marc Neyen and Don Philippe mostly inhabit the dance floor world in Berlin; Julian Sartorius and Marc Lohr are drummers; Evelinn Trouble and Joy Fremong are singers; and Colin Vallon, Dan Nicholls and Petter Eldh, a member of the Speak Low trio who has two remixes under the name of Frans Petter, come from the contemporary jazz world.
The remixes add to the beauty and eery nature of the original tracks. Some take the music quite some away from the original, while others keep Lucia’s voice and the instrumental passages more or less as they were, but add keyboard, drum, vocal or other sounds, The latter work particularly well.
Julian Sartorius’ simple repetitive drum rhythm adds to the moving nature of Lucia’s version of Don’t Explain. Marc Lohr’s remix of Strange Fruit with electronic backing strengthens Lucia’s atmospheric rendition. Perhaps my favourite track has Evelinn Trouble adding a stunning vocal backing to Slow Hot Wind that draws on Evelinn’s world of psychedelic rock. Marc Neyen’s version of Moon River transforms the saxophone and bass sounds into a kind of ambient drone and adds drum and guitar to create atmospheric backing for Lucia’s unaltered voice. Peter Eldh’s version of Speak Low adds a very busy drum rhythm from Julian Sartorius.
The other approach is to make radical changes to the original versions thereby creating effectively a new piece of music. Trummerschlunk’s version of Ain’t Got No hardly makes use of the original for a long quirky and minimalist track with the voice very much in the background. Dan Nicholls’ remix of Deep Song leaps about in a way that reminds of his Strobes group. Petter Eldh’s other remix, Some Other Spring, is a much funkier track with the addition of drums and keys. Don Philippe adds a gentle hip hop rhythm to Moon River that works surprisingly well. Another favourite of mine is that by Joy Fremong who loops the voice in several layers that reminds of the Tuneyards group.
Colin Vallon takes a different approach from all the others by leaving unprocessed parts of Lucia’s original recording of Don ‘t Explain, but interspersing other instrumental passages that build up the intensity of the song.
Overall, this album is sufficiently faithful to the original but brings something fresh to it.