Brazilian vocalist Bebel Gilberto has become an international phenomenon with her patented brand of world electronica. Her soft and silky voice – coupled with the down-tempo electronic productions of her two albums, Tanto Tempo (2000) and a self-titled release in 2004 – has gained her respect and accolades around the globe. A who’s who of electronica producers and up-and-coming talent remix Gilberto’s second album here. But unlike most remix albums, this one remains remarkably cohesive, a near perfect voyage into Brazilian contemporary cool.
Gilberto’s voice lends itself remarkably well to various interpretations of her music, a feat that only Madonna and Bjork have been able to accomplish. This is primarily a down-tempo affair, from the opening trip-hop cool of DJ Spinna’s take on “Ceu Distante” to the percussive groove of “Cado Beijo,” remixed by Thievery Corporation. Latin Project produce a cheery interpretation of the brilliant “Aganju,” retaining the festive elements of the original yet morphing it into a perfect cocktail-hour hors d’oeurve. Nuspirit Helsinki’s version of “Winter” is the collection’s most danceable track. Impeccably remixed, it’s a beautiful and sexy progressive house reworking that simmers with heartbreak. My favorite track is Yam Who?’s remix of “Baby.” A simple beginning gives way to cascading instrumentation, tinkering cowbells and handclaps.
The weakest of the remixes here still manage to be a cut above the average, elevating the entire album to a high-quality affair. If down-tempo delights are your thing, this set of eclectic remixes needs to be in your collection.