Tuesday, 30 May 2017


The original 'Rock The Boat' by Aaliyah is a sultry slow-jam, an atmospheric journey of swaying rhythm, hypnotic and hazy, a bastion of early '00s R&B, swaying and seductive; it's all about the sparse groove and the compelling vocals. A track like this doesn't need reworking, of course, but it does inspire reworking. And in that indefatigable groove is clearly where musicmaker james p found the influence for his tribute track, a reworking heavy on rhythm and atmosphere.

In this version we find ourselves maybe almost a decade before 'Rock The Boat'—a spirit of early '90s R&B imbues the track with its clean organic instrumentation carving deep channels with slapped bass that slides and rolls throughout, slow yet acrobatically considered, skipping and weaving through the clacking of the beat. Chimes sparkle. Glassy vibraphone sounds cushion and spread softness in this intimate expanse. The magic, still now as it was, is in Aaliyah's vocals, the cresting cadences, the silken tone, the voice now in this new vessel still shines, a simple but marvellously potent reworking.

james p Internet Presence ☟

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