Shreem is the alias of Jay Andrews, a former pipe band drummer and professional percussionist based in Toronto. Possibly seeking to redress the absence of Celtic folk music from nightclub soundsystems, Celtic Remixing sees him combine samples of traditional tunes and songs with a variety of electronic genres.
What’s clear from the outset is that, as well as being grounded in traditional Celtic music, Andrews is also an adept producer, with a feel for what makes good dance music tick, electronic or otherwise.
Polka’s Stay Trill flips back and forth effortlessly between regular, double and half time, creating a well-balanced sense of build up and release. Meanwhile the aptly named Forward is a ball of positive energy, with all the makings of a dancefloor anthem - but with a driving fiddle reel at the centre.
Perhaps the best thing about Celtic Remixing though, is that while the electronic elements of the tracks stand up in and of themselves, neither do the folk tunes jar against them or seem out of place. The uilleann pipes are perfectly suited to the cavernous and foreboding atmosphere of Steps, while on Good Good Bad, Shannon Quinn’s snaking fiddle line fits in perfectly where the lead synth normally would in a dubstep track.
Similarly, Wasn’t I is a gorgeous down-tempo trip hop track, where the lead vocals happen to be in Gaelic, interspersed with staple hornpipe The Rights Of Man on fiddle. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t quite hold true for Wide Awake, where Kayo’s monotone rapping doesn’t do a lot to justify inclusion either in terms of wordplay or delivery.
Regardless, in Celtic Remixing Shreem has crafted a well-produced album of up to date sounding dance and electronica with a strong Celtic identity running through it. And hopefully one that will turn more producers and listeners on to the traditional material that inspired it.Nick Hart
Released on download April 2017.
1. The Game
2. Polka’s Stay Trill
3. Good Good Bad
5. Wasn’t I
7. Wide Awake