NxWorries - Yes Lawd! Remixes

(Stones Throw Records, 2017)

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"When Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge dropped Yes Lawd! on Stones Throw at the end of 2016, they entered the label’s lineage of underground superduos like Jaylib and Madvillain, pairing a vocalist and a producer with complementary styles, with shared ancestors on their musical family tree. They largely lived up to the tradition, lacing what would otherwise be a classic tape from the L.A. Beat Scene with .Paak’s soulful R&B vibe. Each artist stepped slightly outside his comfort zone, and in the process, proved that together they really do have the range.

For Yes Lawd! Remixes, .Paak’s vocals are recycled from the original LP, making this collection all about Knxwledge flexing his mastery at deconstructing beats and samples. That they’re his beats to begin with does nothing to diminish his technical prowess. The producer has an uncanny understanding of the function and importance of each instrument, expertly wielding them for effect. He doesn’t have to change much to completely alter the vibe. On “Alltypeofchnces,” he swaps out crunchy static for clean pickwork from an electric guitar; on the “Wngs (Remix),” the track is completely transformed by swapping the drum kit for a dominant percussive bassline. The macabre strings on “Lyk Dis (Remix)” transform its mood from a sexy bedroom jam to something more depressive.

Projects like this seem to flow from Knxwledge like water—his Bandcamp page currently offers a staggering 84 albums for sale—and he somehow manages to improve a number of the tracks on this already stellar LP. The original “Suede” impersonated the warm tones of Brian Jackson’s Fender Rhodes, which the remix abandons in favor of airy atmospherics worthy of a Sade record. “Best One” was already lovely, with a smooth organ melody, but the remix manages to be both crunchier and more lush, as the organ takes a backseat to somber strings and what sounds like a vibraphone. It’s gorgeous..." - Matthew Ismael Ruiz for Pitchfork