Ronnie Foster: Mystic Brew

From Two Headed Freap (Blue Note, 1972)


A Tribe Called Quest: Electric Relaxation

From 12″ (Jive, 1994). Also available on Midnight Marauders (Jive, 1993)


Freeway: Alright (Blackbeard remix)


From 12″ (white label, 2003). Original version available on Freeway’s Philadelphia Freeway (Roc-A-Fella, 2003)

Sound file courtesy Hua Hsu


Madlib: Mystic Bounce


From Shades of Blue (Blue Note, 2004)


Rell feat. Kanye West and Consequence: Real Love


Forthcoming (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)

The irony of Ronnie Foster’s “Mystic Brew” is that it has become his best known song but more for Gordon Edward’s bass work than Foster’s own keyboard tinklings. Recorded for his then-underrated Two Headed Freap album on Blue Note, the song gained new life in 1993 when A Tribe Called Quest looped it up for their fan favorite “Electric Relaxation.” For the next ten years, the song lay low until producer Just Blaze revisted it for Allen Anthony’s (and then Freeway’s) versions of “Alright.” The UK’s Blackbeard remixed that, bringing the bassline into even higher relief and leteting the instrumental play for nearly half the song before Freeway jumps in.

This year, Madlib remixed the song for his Shades of Blue project, adding new drums and other elements and calling his version “Mystic Bounce.” Last but not least (but somewhat strangely), Roc-A-Fella’s vocalist Rell, joined by Kanye West and Consequence, flips “Mystic Brew” again for his new “Real Love.” It’s gets more convoluted since Kanye and Cons recorded “Electric Relaxation ’03” for several mix-CDs that came out last year but you’d figure someone at Roc-A-Fella would have noticed that Freeway already used the sample not that long ago but hey, I’m not complaining since I never get tired of listening to Foster’s song in whatever form it comes in.

(Shout out to Different Kitchen for giving me the idea for this posting.)