Yelfris Valdés - For The Ones...Remixed (EP Review)
Released: 4 June 2021
EP Rating: 4/5
Nearly two years after the release of his stunning debut LP, Cuban-born trumpeter Yelfris Valdés’ For The Ones… has been reinterpreted and restructured by a series of first-class producers on Música Macondo Records. Displaying both dance-heavy beats and introspective soundscapes, this six-track electronic EP pays tribute to Yelfris’ original compositions in a new and exciting light, proving the mastery of each of the contributors.
Reflecting on the project, Tim Garcia, Música Macondo label owner, explains 'It was a lot of fun putting this remix EP together with Yelfris, I wanted to pick artists that would respect the music and Yelfris’ compositions but bring a whole new dimension to it, I'm really happy with how it turned out, being able to work with so many of my favourite producers on this has been a bit of a dream.”
For The Ones…Remixed starts where the original ends with ‘After Sly’, as American producer Osunlade eases us into the EP through calm, infectious and unassuming jazzy house beats. The light off-beat percussion gives space to Yelfris’ trumpet, ensuring this is the focal point of the remix.
‘Aceleyo Aña’ takes a quite different turn with Quantic's remix. Fit with a fiercely 1980s vibe, we are greeted with a retro synth riff and a foot-stomping beat, highlighting Quantic’s creative compositional outlook.
Manchester-based producer Contours brings an industrial Chicago-house sentiment to ‘Maktub’, one which sports a deep pounding pattern, bouncing percussive sounds, resting under a frosty and atmospheric package that gives space for Simo Lagnawis’ vocals to levitate.
As we reach the second half of the EP, we are firmly in the London scene, as the final three tracks all showcase broken beat vibes. K15’s reinterpretation of ‘Ancestry’ is dominated by soft interlocking shuffling patterns, which sees Yelfris’ trumpet shredding over the top. The percussive clicks and claps only give way to the shamanic chants, which allows for the entry of static synth strings and a calmer and inward-looking clapping set.
Maxwell Owin’s version of ‘Worlds’ is a huge departure from the original, with a soft fast-flowing jungle beat that is wholeheartedly reflective in nature.
IG Culture’s Likwid Continual Space Motion provides the finale with ‘Full Moon’. Brandished with a wonky warped riff and heavily syncopated bruk beat rhythms, the vocals are twisted just enough to create a slight sense of unease with the toe-tapping beat. These warped chants are soon met with characteristic squashed horn stabs, followed by a worried scalic sax and then a grooving trombone which rounds off the EP on a lighter note.
With For The Ones… Remixed, label owner Tim Garcia has collated a host of industry-leading producers to rework the record into an innovative and lively sound. The producers had a fantastic canvas to work with, but they have been assembled to create a work that reflects their towering talent while maintaining the essence of Yelfris’ original creations. Serving a different style to the original, For The Ones… Remixed is another top outing for the fledgling label.
Follow and keep up to date with Yelfris Valdés here:
1. After Sly (Osunlade Remix)
5. Worlds (Maxwell Owin Trying Times Mix)
6. Full Moon (Likwid Continual Space Motion Remix)