Positive Flow: Reflowed
Tokyo Dawn Records

Fans of The Foreign Exchange and Nicolay should proceed directly to their nearest music outlet to download Reflowed, a fabulous collection of remixes based on Flow Lines by Positive Flow (UK-based multi-instrumentalist Jesse Reuben Wilson). No familiarity with the earlier release is required for one to enjoy and appreciate the new collection, though an interesting taste test between the originals and the makeovers could be undertaken were one so inclined. On the seventy-two-minute set, soul, funk, Nujazz, and R&B figure prominently in fifteen tracks by remixers Buscrates, Chino Yoshio, Jonny Miller, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Lay-Far, MainFrame, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Opolopo, Peejay, Rowpieces, SoulParlor, and Positive Flow himself (under his house alias Moji).

The uplifting vibe of Positive Flow's luscious sound is established immediately when Natasha Alexander's shades-of-Beyoncé voice graces the languorous flow of “Kingdom” and its haunting background flourishes. Kyoto Jazz Massive and Mark de Clive-Lowe pool their respective talents to give “Look Around Any Corner” a robust, Nujazz-styled makeover that makes its exuberant swing all the more irresistible. Spiked with early Prince-styled synth squiggles, Buscrates' Sunrise mix of “Hold On” is one of the collection's funkiest jams, while Scandinavian producer Opolopo gives the clavinet-laden “My Prediction” a serious jolt of boogie-funk fever. In addition, Lay-Far's sultry “Universal Truth” exudes joyous sparkle in its seductively funky treatment, and crooner Andre Espeut and deep house maestro Jonny Miller combine to give “Tapestries of My Mind” an open-air makeover capable of entrancing legions of outdoor festival attendees.

In a couple of cases, different versions of a particular song are included. As Moji, Positive Flow gives “Children of the Sun,” featuring The Cinematic Orchestra's vocalist Heidi Vogel, an infectiously breezy treatment; the version by Rowpieces, on the other hand, proves to be the collection's most anomalous in recasting the tune as a lithe drum'n'bass stormer. Peejay's “Do What I Do” version could pass for a cut by The Foreign Exchange, especially when British soul singer Omar's the one emoting over the slinky downtempo groove, whereas Chino Yoshio's album-closing version re-imagines the song as a piano-and-strings ballad. Positive Flow's lustrous material, whether it be originals or remixes, radiates warmth and uplift, and with nary a misstep in sight Reflowed offers seventy-two minutes of pure pleasure. Music to make you swoon.

September 2015