Kelela is an artist who picks and curates with a surgical degree of taste and purpose. Every instrumental, word, visual, and collaboration is deliberate. Following her 2013 mixtape Cut for Me and her 2015 EP Hallucinogen, Kelela released her debut album, Take Me Apart, in 2017 which received almost unanimous critical acclaim. Anyone who did not know her before were watching her for her next move. Almost one year after Take Me Apart’s release, Kelela released two singles leading up to the release of TAKE ME A_PART, THE REMIXES, a remix album that showcases producers and musicians that leave their marks on her debut album.
While a remix album highlights the artists who are reinterpreting the original content, Kelela shines as she pulls the marionette strings by drafting a team of musicians and artists, both relatively familiar and unknown, who perfectly executed their minds onto Take Me Apart. Remix albums provide new perspectives and takes on pre-existing material.
Ultimately, Kelela dishes out 20 carefully selected remixes fit for any mood and occasion. Ranging from bounce, vogue and gogo, this remix album has something for everyone. Personal favorites include remixes by serpentwithfeet, Rare Essence, Joey LaBeija, Badsista and Linn da Quebrada, Gaika and Divoli S’vere. The artists on the album are eclectic and talented, putting their unique spin and injecting new personality and life into Take Me Apart.
The former of the singles was a redux of the Take Me Apart standout, “LMK,” titled “Lmk_ What’s Really Good Remix_” featuring hip-hop powerhouses cupcakKe, Junglepussy, Ms. Boogie and Princess Nokia. The “LMK” remix is airy and punchy, leaving room for each artist to swagger through the upbeat reproduction. The second single released was a take on “Waitin” by Haitian-Canadian producer and beat-junkie, KAYTRANADA. KAYTRANADA’s remix is a guaranteed car shaker with his signature gnarly sub bass used throughout his oeuvre. Overall, these two remixes are at two different ends of the sonic spectrum and would only serve as an appetizer for the entrée ahead.
TAKE ME A_PART, THE REMIXES takes an album that is wrought with Kelela’s ideas and psyche and expands its boundaries with a squadron of diverse collaborators and artists to dissect and rearrange Take Me Apart. The product is not so much a several-course meal served linearly, but a tasting menu where every item brought out is different and intriguing, simultaneously complimenting and contrasting the songs before and after.