UK experimental R&B duo ALUNAGEORGE have recently gone out and played around with FRIENDS‘ track ‘I’m His Girl’, the Brooklyn group’s totally poppy, second single off their debut album ‘Manifest!’.
What’s produced is a completely infectious and rhythmically charged rework, with a dynamic interweaving of pulsating electronic soundscapes and a vocal dominance that pervades the entire track.
In fact, if it weren’t for the soothing, almost sultry vocals of Samantha Urbani that shine through, it’s hard to actually recognise that ALUNAGEORGE have remixed one of the poppiest (…is that even a word?) bands to come out of Brooklyn in the last year. The UK duo have stripped the track of its funky overpowering bass and tribal percussive influence that really characterise what Friends is about.
And it’s exactly this electro – slash – R&B focus that makes this remix so alluring. Aluna Francis and George Reid have shaped the track around a few really contrasting synth melodies that help to bring out the diversity in Urbani’s voice. Offbeat, almost tropical keyboard riffs are a strong basis for AlunaGeorge but also retain an element of that natural female pop.
But as quickly as it appears, the smooth and spritely keys are replaced by some totally creamy and futuristic electro beats that bring out a bit of a chill, perhaps showing off more of George Reid’s R&B influences from the 90s. It may not seem like it, but this sort of pop-cum-R&B fusion creates something bigger and greater than the sum of its parts. And there’s serious points going to them for song choice and a fabulous amount of originality from the duo.
What’s even more interesting is that AlunaGeorge have been encouraged by this approach to their remixes by the overwhelmingly positive response they receive. Their remix of ‘Born To Die’, Lana Del Rey’s hit success that preceded their Friends remix was done with the same stripped back approach, with similar creamy melodies and vocal prominence.
It’s nice to see artists sticking to what they know and love, and doing it effing well.
Words by Edmund Kirkwood