We felt the go-go influence in Jill Scott’s “It’s Love,” a standout from her 2000 debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. We saw her collaborate with Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go himself, before his passing. Jilly From Philly has seen fit to tap into D.C.’s unique rhythm-driven genre of music at different times in her career. She saw fit to do so again this year, calling on veteran D.C. bred producer Tone P to craft two remixes to records from her 2015 album, Woman.
The first, a Black Alley and DuPont Brass-assisted remix of “Fool’s Gold,” is here today, bringing with it a reminder of go-go’s unique power, swing, and steez. While the original, which samples Yutaka Yokokura’s “Evening Star,” is a smooth listen through and through, the go-go version has a percussive rhythm that literally adds another dimension to the record.
It intensifies to match the rise and fall of the record, daring listeners not to fall in step. DuPoint Brass’s brazen horns and Black Alley’s lush instrumentation create an atmosphere that comes alive on its own terms, paralleling the energy that can be felt from Jill’s vocals as she mourns the death of a relationship anchored in lies.
As a Washington, D.C.-based music discovery platform, we’re excited to be premiering the go-go remix of “Fool’s Gold” today. Let these congos, keys, and horns seep into ya subconscious, and look out for a second Jill Scott go-go remix courtesy of Tone P and Black Alley on Monday. Purchase Woman via iTunes.
I sat down with Tone P to get insight into how this record came to be. Read on below.
How did this remix happen?
“My guy Omar, the the former manager of Black Alley, made it happen. Black Alley opened up for Jill Scott last year at the Verizon Center, and they started to build a relationship after that. Jill loved the band’s stuff. A couple weeks later, she reached back out to Omar and asked him if he knew anyone who did go-go remixes. She wanted to give her latest album, Woman, a push by getting remixes of her songs in different markets.
DC is her biggest market in the world. We love her here. She wanted to do some more go-go remixes. Omar shot her my number, and they reached out. I told them what I needed to make it happen. We made it happen at Blue Room Studios in Herndon, Virginia. Me and Black Alley went out there and got it done.”
What was the creative process like during those sessions with Black Alley?
“I’ve known Black Alley for a while. I rock with the whole crew. I came back to DC after living in Atlanta for four years, and I ran into Black Alley at Broccoli City Festival. They were rocking. The band was so official.
It was a breath of fresh air during a time when it felt like actual go-go bands were losing their edge. The bounce beat really came along and changed the go-go vibe, especially for the youngins. It’s different. Not a bad vibe – it’s just different. I was raised on Backyard, UCB, and Northeast Groovers. All those bands really understood music. They were tight. I don’t think a lot of these new guys understand music, it’s just a crank session.Black Alley stood out even more, because of their approach. I met the band officially soon thereafter. We ended up creating a song called “Houston.”
With the Jill Scott project, things flowed pretty easily, because we already had that connection. We didn’t have to come up with anything super new – we just had to give the records that go-go flavor. I let people have creative freedom in my recording sessions. I let people get out what they wanna get out, then I add stuff on top of it. I came in with some set drums already. The thing about blending go-go is, you have to know how to create the drums first. The whole point of blending it is to get the drums to hit harder, and not making it sound just live, and making it sound like it came from the MPC. That’s the trick.
I came in with my own drums, then I implemented the music from Black Alley from Jill Scott’s record onto the drums that I had. After we implemented the music that was from her record, me and the keyboard player would go back and forth to create new melodies and runs, in order to give the record a different feel. Same with the bass player. Then I go home with all the pieces, chop it up, and boom.”
Look for another Jill Scott go-go remix on Monday, and stream the original version of “Fool’s Gold” below.