January 29, 2009

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Various Artists, Johnny Cash Remixed
Compadre Records, Jan. 27

It’s doubtful that this would constitute a bonding opportunity for casual hipsters and their tobacco-spitting granddads, but who knows. The skeleton for this comes from Cash’s old stripped-down recordings with the Tennessee Two, so there was a lot of space available for filling by the strange-bedfellow gaggle of DJs and techno-whatnots assembled here. Snoop Dogg tenders a “Vato”-like set of ground-down rhymes on ODT Muzik’s rub of “I Walk the Line,” easily the most bang-on track here as the added underpinnings do exactly what they’re supposed to, that being erecting a newfangled parade car atop which float Cash’s lines, presenting them as highest-level historical footage one simply doesn’t mess with. Count de Money is handed “Big River,” a task for which he’s little prepared or inspired unless playing with phase-shifts and flanges has suddenly become critically important while we all slept. Philip Steir gives “Get Rhythm” an Oakenfold-style L.A.-DJ once-over; Pete Rock throws “Folsom Prison Blues” under a Britney Spears bus. A+E.W.S.