Hot Tracks

Pete Tong, The Heritage Orchestra & Jules Buckley.
Pete Tong, The Heritage Orchestra & Jules Buckley.
Chloe Mun, piano.
Chloe Mun, piano.

Legendary British DJ Pete Tong and Jules Buckley's Heritage Orchestra return for their second go at stirring orchestral interpretations of Ibiza dance music anthems - and they sound just as great the second time round.

Last year's Classic House compilation was the first time clubland classics such as Fatboy Slim's Right Here, Right Now got the full orchestral treatment, where synthesisers and break beats were gilded with lush strings and horns.

This time, they take on everything from Moloko's Sing It Back to Swedish House Mafia's One. The album is peppered with features, some by the original artists and others with new vocalists.

Of the faithful interpretations, Seal returns for the vocals on his 1989 track with Adamski called Killer. The synth-heavy original gets the full sweeping strings makeover, making it fresh and relevant even in 2017.

Jessie Ware's 2012 slow burner of a track, Running, on the other hand, gets a faster-paced, dancefloor-ready version.

There are pleasant surprises, such as Massive Attack's 1991 track Unfinished Sympathy getting a a male vocal by Samm Henshaw instead of a female vocal like on the iconic original.



    Pete Tong, The Heritage Orchestra & Jules Buckley


    4/5 Stars

But in some instances, the reinterpretations are less successful. A version of The Chemical Brothers' 2005 hit Galvanize, with sinister-sounding strings built around a Middle Eastern melody, perfectly captures the frantic energy of the original. But the rap verses by hip-hop artist Rejjie Snow do not quite have the grit and aggression of the original, by A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip.

Either way, Tong seems to have hit on an idea with plenty of longevity and the club classics he could take on are endless.

Anjali Raguraman

By winning the Geneva and Busoni international piano competitions in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the young South Korean pianist Chloe Mun Ji Yeong has been compared with the legendary Argentine Martha Argerich, who accomplished that feat in the same year in 1957.

But that would be selling her short.

She was born to severely handicapped parents and raised on government social support. Playing on school and church-owned pianos, she honed her art to an astonishing degree that is evident in the 22-year-old's all-Schumann debut disc.

Robert Schumann's First Piano Sonata In F Sharp Minor (Op.11) and Fantasie In C Major (Op.17) are sprawling and ambitious works which require that extra spark of imagination and flair to bring the notes to life.



    Chloe Mun, piano

    Deutsche Grammophon 481 632-2

    5/5 Stars

Mun possesses the technical wherewithal and physical reserve to withstand the longeurs, even in the meandering and repetitious finale of Op.11 and the treacherous octave leaps in the central movement of Op.17.

Her chief rival in these works is not Argerich, but the Italian Maurizio Pollini (also on Deutsche Grammophon), who reveals a darker edge and doggedness to the music in his celebrated 1970s recordings. She, however, has a wonderful filler in Blumenstuck (Flower Piece), which is most prettily performed.

Chang Tou Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2017, with the headline 'Hot Tracks'. Print Edition | Subscribe