There are many words that could be used to describe Telephoned. Prolific; eclectic; unpredictable. Most bands have some standard approach to their covers, some templated way of making their covers seem like a break from the original. With Telephoned (DJ/producer Sammy Bananas and vocalist Maggie Horn), you never have any idea what you’re going to get.
Take, for example, their latest cover. We’ve got Maggie Horn singing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” over the Caribbean “Chinkuzi Riddim” and Mr. Bananas standing back. Of course, he would have needed to mix the vocal track with the riddim track, but that can’t be all that much effort for a producer as talented as Bananas. The duo did, after all, put out our third best cover album of 2010.
No, the innovation of this particular track doesn’t lie in anything they do, really, but simply in the use of the riddim track for a cover of an ’80s pop hit. Most musicians who use the style are very much in the reggae business; Telephoned, on the other hand, are in the sometimes-reggae-influenced business of using whatever they think is awesome. Dropping Tina Turner over this pre-existing musical track might seem like an uninspired decision, but that’s where they get the element of surprise. It’s not uninspired, simply unexpected. And y’know what? It works.
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