I'm a big fan of Saag. The mineral laden green leaves make a fine compliment to many a classic Indian dish. This Saag, however, is less green than his Pop-Eye friendly namesake but shares a similar attribute in adding significant value to a classic. Now I'm not normally a fan of re-works, bootlegs, mash-ups or whatever the hell you want to call them. Unlike a medium Saag Gosht, upon digestion they make my insides turn and contort like I've just downed a bottle of lime chilli pickle liquidized with a sound dosage of ipeceac for good measure. The St Germain classic of Rose Rouge was just one of many from their seminal album Tourist, composed by French jazz maestro, Ludovic Navarre. Truly a work of art in the house and downtempo World and one that will quite simply never be equalled or replicated. Cannon fodder thus being anyone who attempts to move into the breach to reproduce his work with any kind of ambition.
At first I resisted the bootleg temptation from an enthusiatic chap behind the counter. I'd heard the record before online and I wasn't bowled over. I recognised the vocal and delicate jazz hats and snares immediately but the sample (as many a time) just didn't do it justice. So, in the shop I got to hear it in all it's glory.
The intro on the House Perspective side is a drawn out affair but the warmth and depth of the percussion soothes as much as it moves. The original elements are truly noticeable but it is difficult to distinguish between what's old and what's new. A good start for a re-work. The vocal seems bigger and wider and the energy is there to bring throngs to the dancefloor with its accessibility. The track lacks the emphasis on the horn section of the original but the tempo soon changes as the surprising element drops; a very large piano chord progression that rumbles in the low end when filtered and bursts at the seams with energy when opened right up after the beat drops. Even more surprising is that I was informed that Giles Peterson has been playing this a lot. Normally put off by such trivia, I had to forgo my instinctive cynicism and buy the bloody thing. So what if a big name Dj plays it. It's good!
Upon a full listen, the track (House Perspective) is big. Very big. It's catchy, warm and for a re-work, shouldn't become stale too soon. The only drawback is that it seems too long. The mid section that introduces a one chord stab is just unnecessary. On it's own it would sit fine but the changes to and from seem to give the track an unwanted alteration of focus. That is soon forgotten though when the piano kicks back in for a fitting finale to a very good job done by Saag.