Every so often, Verve Records likes to give contemporary producers the keys to the castle, letting the mix-masters of the day imbue the jazz and soul hits of yore with new context. And most of the time, if we’re being honest, it’s about as interesting as you’d expect: simply novelty, or something trapped in a milquetoast middle ground that doesn’t do either artist any favors.
But Toro y Moi’s take on Billie Holiday’s “My Man” is excellently irreverent. He’s not at all beholden to the artist who came before him and that’s what makes it work. Chaz Bundick chops the original into tiny bits and sets them bouncing to a glitched-out mix of beats, record static, and New Age-y pan flute. He even manages to isolate a rap-worthy “Uh!” from Holiday that becomes part of the surging rhythm.
The track hails from Verve Remixed: The First Ladies, out July 16, but we have our doubts as to whether Kaskade, Bassnectar, or Pretty Lights will be able to accomplish anything half as exciting as this. Of course, we’d be happy to be surprised. Tokimonsta, RAC, Maya Jane Coles, and Pontus Winnberg (a.k.a. Avant) of Miike Snow will also contribute. Among the artists reimagined: Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Astrud Gilberto, and Sarah Vaughn.