The remix phenomenon--the business of having a DJ treat and transform a pre-existing song, usually adding a web of electronic beats and effects--has become an industry and genre unto itself. Like a lot of club-oriented dance music, however, remixes can get tiring, lifeless, and repetitious, and many remix projects aren't even worth the time it takes to listen to them. The VERVE REMIXED series, collected here in this deluxe, four-disc set, is an exception to that rule. If the novice were to pick one set to represent the comprehensive possibilities of the remix idea, this would probably be it.
To begin with, the guest remixers are working with some of the highest-caliber work ever laid to wax. With the likes of Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Smith, Billy Holiday, and Astrud Gilberto as a starting point, it's hard to go wrong. But the other half of the equation is equally winning. Most of the top names in DJ/electronic music--including Tricky, Thievery Corporation, Richard Dorfmeister, Dan the Automator, Postal Service, and Danger Mouse--offer their skills. Old-school jazz purists and listeners indifferent to extended dance grooves are unlikely to be converted, but for fans of the genre, it is hard to better this rich, varied, endlessly absorbing set.