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Mystikos Quintet: Refidelity (album review)



How do you shop for music when you don’t know what you’re looking for? Indeed, I resort to judging a book (or in this case, album) by its cover. On the hunt for something recent while digging through the "local/regional" bins at Luna, I was forced to put down half of the CD’s I picked up because none of them disclosed their year of production. One of the few 2010’s I picked up caught my eye with a nostalgic, bubbly, sparkly outline of a martini glass that hung from the letters MQ in solid green and red respectively. It was titled REFIDELITY and the band’s name was Mystikos Qunitet.

Another factor subconsciously at play was familiarity. One glance down the back of the album yielded only two names I recognized: Grey Granite & Dave Owen — both people whose music I respect immensely. A few catchy song titles ("Wup Bup," "Hoodoo Jive," "Midnight Herb") and Mystikos Quintet’s directive to “seek out and buy” music from the collaborating artists on the album made the decision final. Refidelity would soon be mine.


Refidelity is an album full of remixes, sampling mostly (but not entirely) from Mystikos Quintet's 2009 release Wup Bup. The down-tempo electronica group (comprised of Indy locals Greg Rode, Kyle Hodges, Ryan "Sweaty B" Williams, Richard "Sleepy" Floyd, Ashley Butler, Gabrielle Flowers, Ed Lanier, and Crescent Ulmer) describe their music as "soul-soothing, yet deep enough to shake ya rump." Without a skippable song on the entire album, this one comes highly recommended for fans of jazz, house, and funk.

The album's second track “Fire, Keep on Burning”, Andrea Guazzeroni (a.k.a. 2DeepPeoples from Perugia, Italy) gives things over to the rhythm section during the all-instrumental song — with the exception of a curious (yet friendly) hook that comes back to tap the listener on the shoulder from time to time.

Two songs later, Big Mojo (also from Italy) remixes the album's sexiest song, “Bring Me What Ya Got For Me”. The track is deeper than its siblings and — like much of Mojo’s work — it goes straight to the hips (in a good way).

Track six calls sees Danny Massure, a west coast DJ currently residing in San Diego, working over “Cabra Asa” from Mystikos Quintet’s 2006 self-titled release. Massure's remix retains the original’s charming flute runs, which serve to neutralize repetitive beats in the background.

“I Can Give You Good Lovin’ Baby” features a classic, 70’s disco sound that feels as happy as sunshine and puppies. Remixed by Kenny Dickenson, the track is fast enough to keep feet moving but groovy enough for body grinding and booty shaking.

Eight tracks in, Mystikos taps local talent for inspiration, switching roles and assuming the position of remixer. Here, the Quintet proves that song-doctoring is best left to the experts featured on the rest of the album: Their “Off Safety” remix does not do justice to Grey Granite's original, despite plenty of pleasurable saxophone interjections.

The final track from Refidelity, remixed by Indianapolis resident and distinguished producer Dave Owen, sees the otherwise dull “Midnight Herb” pepped up with a vigorous drum-n-bass backbone. An enchanting series of weightless sounds drizzle over ultra-fast beats for nearly seven minutes to provide an album closer that keeps listeners begging for more.

Sample the entire album here and, if you like what you hear, go pick it up at Luna.


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