Da Capo Playas Volume One - Da Capo Playas

Aztlan

Should every Soul singer deliver a sliver of Marvin Gay? Should every Pop/Rock band give a nod to The Beatles? Should every Reggae artist carry a tuneful token to Bob Marley? My answer would be a resounding YES! Retro has a big role in modern music. It’s important to know where this music comes from and to recognize that for all our creative urges to push the envelope we remember that these are defined and legitimate genres. So, how is retro realized in the relatively young world of hip hop? According to a University of New Mexico professor rap battles can be traced back to the old Caledonian art of “flyting”, intense verbal jousts, often laced with vulgarity.  So, while the poet griots of West Africa were probably the originators, the first rappers might also have looked less like Grandmaster Flash and more like Groundskeeper Willy. Patmore Lewis is a concert violinist from the Virgin Islands, now with the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. On his album with Da Capo Playas called Da Capo – A New Compilation Vol.1, he does something quite remarkable with hip hop; serving it up with more than retro. We’re talking really old skool! Each of the compositions on this ingenious disc references the classics, but not in a corny, Hooked on the Classics way. Bobbing and weaving through the crisp dancefloor beats are flights of Debussy, Purcell, Schumann and even medieval modes going back as far as the 13th century. The arrangements reap the benefit of Lewis’ classical prowess, incorporating rich strings of violin and cello and real brassy horns along with the digital programming and scratches. As well as performing over 100 shows a year with the Metropolitan Opera, Patmore is an environmental activist and much sought after by top hip hop artists as a producer and player. Rap artists Arli$$ Michael$ (3 dollar signs – he must be good), Rounds, Khrysalis and Mahogane put the yo yo in the flow. Da Capo A New Compilation Vol. 1 is a thoroughly new approach with a great understanding of where it all comes from.