A Meeting of Minds in the Land of Black Gold

Nuyorican Soul ft Jocelyn Brown – I Am the Black Gold of the Sun (4 Hero Remix) [Talkin’ Loud]

From the unravelling acoustic guitar intro, through lush orchestration and soaring vocals, and on into the giddying drum’n’bass breakdown before a gentle touch-down on over-extended string harmonies, 4 Hero’s deft retouching of Nuyorican Soul’s own 1997 repackaging of early ’70s gospel-folk-soul is, for me, an unmitigated eight-and-a-half minute masterpiece.

Stepping out from under their Masters At Work moniker, original house dons Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez & ‘Little’ Louis Vega had taken taken it upon themselves to collar soul greats and contemporaries to assist in updating classic rare grooves for their Nuyorican Soul venture, here recalibrating the (New) Rotary Connection’s typically psychedelic ‘I Am the Black Gold of the Sun’ with the help of serial disco collaborator Jocelyn Brown.

As with much of the Nuyorican Soul album the original was little more than tidied up and tweaked for modern sensibilities before a brush with Marc Mac & Dego’s organic drum’n’bass machine took it into truly consciousness-raising territory. In keeping with the project’s aesthetics the Londoners subtly imbue the track with airy, climactic drums, orchestral swells and cosmic keys that whip the already euphoric affair up into an epic interstellar soul trip.

Testament to all that is good in the worlds of both the cover version and the remix, this is a shining example of a fine tune in good hands.

‘I Am the Black Gold of the Sun (4 Hero Remix)’ featured on the 12″ and CD single releases by Nuyorican Soul [Talkin’ Loud/Giant Step].

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