A couple of month back we reviewed the single “Curly Hair” by The Love Theme. For those still living under a rock, here’s the rundown: The Love Theme project is the brainchild and creation of Producer Dominic Owen, who also runs Smokersblend Records and Audioblend Mastering. Dominic has produced & mixed songs for Notorious B.I.G, Lil Kim, Rakim, Seal, Khadeja, Anthony Hamilton, Colin Cooper, Damage, Andy Abraham, Charlie Sloth, Julian Marley and many more. He has scored several television commercials and documentaries, with his music appearing regularly on CNN, Sky Sports, The History Channel and National Geographic Channel. “Curly Hair”, features vocals from the late Colin Cooper (Dominic’s uncle) the founder and lead singer of the legendary Climax Blues Band, whose record “Couldn’t Get It Right” was a huge hit in 1976.
The original “Curly Hair” release by The Love Theme is loaded with smooth creamy jazzy instrumentation, effortless swing in the groove, polished chord progressions, and soulful vocal intonations, which we have often described as being part of Dominic Owen’s renaissance formula of the boom bap sound.
The track showed off all his genius and skill behind the boards. Not satisfied, Dominic has now cooked up 2 remixed versions – his very own “The Love Theme – Curly Hair (Dominic Owen Remix)”, and “The Love Theme – Curly Hair (Jake Detonator Remix)”.
Jake Detonator is the musical alter ego of Jake Steel – highly accomplished artist and designer. Some of names in the campaigns Jake has worked on include Lucasfilm (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) Sony Playstation, The Prodigy, Sugarhill Records and Prince Fatty. His books include the acclaimed graphic novel, ‘Hellraisers’ (SelfMadeHero), ‘How To Speak Wookiee’ and ‘How to Speak Droid with R2-D2’ (Chronicle/Lucasfilm ) and ‘The Mammoth Book Of Street Art’ ( Constable Robinson ).
He is a comic cover artist on titles such as Doctor Who, Assassin’s Creed and The Corbyn Comic Book and creative director on the new Chali 2na / Krafty Kuts album ‘Adventures Of A Reluctant Superhero’. So what about the music? Well it just so happens that Jake has a love for all things hip hop and graffiti, so he climbed on board to give his spin on “The Love Theme – Curly Hair”.
Copy, transform and combine. It’s how you remix. You take existing music, you chop it up, you transform the pieces, you combine them back together again, and you’ve got a new song. Sounds fairly simple. The key though, is you have to maintain the intrinsic values of the original while adding something significant of your own, to the equation. And in such, Jake Detonator ticks all the boxes. His take on “Curly Hair” is expansive, creative, and pretty eclectic at the same time.
Downtempo is a killer subgenre of electronic music. It’s laidback but has a distinct beat you can groove to. Jake takes that beat attribute, and makes it boomingly gigantic. Underneath, he pumps up the rolling basslines, and then reworks the vocal tracks. Adding harmonies, the spoken word, adlibs, and chants – and just about anything he can find to fill the cracks and chasms.
Shimmering keys, samples, and other electro squelches and squeaks are thrown into the mix to make sure there are no dull moments. All the while the track is never overwhelming, too busy, or loses its original motif. A mean feat, considering the edgy, explosive, head-nodding bombast Jake Detonator cooks up.
Dominic’s own remix of his original “Curly Hair” arrangement, is exactly what I expected. Dominic was born with an electro groove machine instead of a regular heart. So his pulse rate and body rhythm works on whole different level. It’s the same groove-pumping heart you’ll find in musicians, as diverse as George Clinton and Nile Rodgers.
Hence Dominic infuses his mix with shimmering guitar licks, and vibrantly thumped bass notes that dominate and drive the song into funk-filled and chilled breakbeat ecstasy, while maintaining a strong jazzy flavor.
Dominic Owen, who has been waking up a new generation to the style, complexity and power of the boom bap groove, now takes his mission a step further with this remix. His passion for the core hip-hop and urban culture, is palpable, and the momentum of his music is only building.