Granted, Slow To Speak is fighting an uphill battle here—hip-house records, disco tunes and dramatic soul verses aren't exactly fashionable these days, and they know it. But there's a difference between being out-of-fashion and sounding dated. Their rework of "Grandpa's Party" by Monie Love sounds tethered to another era, and the duo's emphasis on its most hackneyed elements—piano vamps and tinny verses—feels tacky.
At other times, Slow To Speak hardly alters the original and relies instead on "subtle cut-and-paste rearrangements" to "vastly elevate the impact" of the original tracks. But it seems unlikely that these "barely perceptible changes" are as magical as Nickerson and Englehardt believe them to be. Their interpretation of DJ Romain's "All Day, All Night" is nearly indistinguishable from the original—the press notes call it a "delightfully cracked version," but those changes are hard to spot. On the other hand, Slow To Speak's rendering of "Imagination Limitation" by Henrik Schwarz boldens the bass and brings the vocals into high-definition, which amps up the track's theatricality and ultimately comes off a bit mawkish.
There are standouts on the compilation. Slow To Speak's rendition of "Feelin' You," for instance, might be more infectious than either the original or Henrik Schwarz's bubbling remix. "Sun In My Mouth," one of Björk's ambient numbers, becomes a wonderfully weird deep house tune in Nickerson and Englehardt's hands: Björk's eerie singing wafts over a throbbing doubled-up kick drum, prickly lullaby keys and strings that sound like an orchestra of aliens. "Dogday" is a squelchy minimal beat that downplays theatrics and bears no distinct ties to a specific time period. There are no hysterical vocals here, no dramatic filter effects, nor clichéd piano progressions—just flickering synth keys, a muddy kick, and brief moments when dusty hi-hats crash into the mix.
The strongest work on Slow To Speak Edits doesn't feel tied to a certain era, or like a ham-fisted attempt to stand up for cheeky bygone trends. The pair apparently aimed to "remind us of how uplifting such sincere vocal celebrations of dancing can be, no matter how unfashionable they currently seem." But their talk of crusading for uncool styles and aspects of dance music comes off as a way of justifying a batch of edits that, at times, just isn't very exciting.
Thu / 12 Jun 2014
01. Henrik Schwarz - Imagination Limitation (Slow To Speak Edit)
02. Jack Master - Bang (Slow To Speak Edit)
03. Current 93 - Idumea (Slow To Speak Remix)
04. Thom Yorke - The Eraser (Slow To Speak Remix)
05. Björk - All Is Full Of Love (Slow To Speak Remix)
06. LB Lynam - Get Things Straight (Slow To Speak Edit)
07. Joey Negro - I Need Somebody Tonight (Slow To Speak Edit)
08. Omar feat. Stevie Wonder - Feelin' You (Slow To Speak Edit)
09. DJ Romain - All Day, All Night (Slow To Speak Edit)
10. Monie Love - Grandpa's Party (Slow To Speak Edit)
11. On The House - Ride The Rhythm (Slow To Speak Edit)
12. North On South St. (Late Night Massive Sound Mix)
13. Slow To Speak - MK (Bonus Medley)
01. Argent - Hold Your Head Up (Schoharie Creek Dub)
02. Nektar (Slow To Speak Edit)
03. Doctrine (Slow To Speak Edit)
04. Beige - Emperor (Slow To Speak Edit)
05. Inner City - Pennies From Heaven (Slow To Speak Mix)
06. David Byrne - Big Business (Slow To Speak Edit)
07. One Thousand (Slow To Speak Edit)
08. Isles (Slow To Speak Edit)
09. Björk - Sun In My Mouth (Slow To Speak Edit)
10. Dogday (Slow To Speak Edit)
11. Gil Scott-Heron - Angel Dust (Slow To Speak Edit)
12. Mark Imperial & Co. - She Ain't Nuthin' But A Hoe (Slow To Speak Edit)
13. Slow To Speak - Murk (Bonus Medley)