Album Reviews

Karsh Kale – Redesign Realize Remixed

(Six Degrees) UK release date: 9 September 2002

Karsh Kale - Redesign Realize Remixed The remix album – money for old rope or a genuine attempt to deconstruct and redefine an existing body of work? A bit more of the former in the case of this record. Twelve artists have been given tracks from Karsh Kale‘s recent album Realize to generally bugger around with in the studio. Much like the original album though, the results are none too inspiring. One of my main gripes with the original had been that it sounded dated, more like something released eight years ago, which just happens to be when half the artists on Redesign were last at the cutting end of the edge.

The standard formula relentlessly followed by most of the remixers on duty here is the same – a brief snippet of exotic flute or Indian chanting followed by some bog standard drum’n’ bass with the odd tabla or dhol thrown in for good measure. Without the track listing you could be forgiven for thinking they were all remixing the same song.

Honourable mention must go to Banco De Gaia, who takes a brief snippet of Indian chanting and then appears to tack on a nine-year-old Eat Static b-side – not bad for a days work, and at least he doesn’t just push the same old tired breakbeats. For sheer nostalgia value, his is my favourite mix of the lot.

The rest though are simply anonymous. DJ Spooky‘s Datalife 2002 mix of One Step Beyond manages to raise the game slightly but still could pass for the sort of thing big-beat pub DJs were playing five years ago.

The main problem lies in the nature of the beast itself. Remixes are at their most effective when either subtly re-editing and highlighting the qualities of the original or when the remixer rips up the original and kills a few sacred cows. In the case of Redesign, the source material wasn’t too hot to begin with, and I doubt most even know who Karsh Kale is, let alone care what Ming + FS have done to one of his tracks.

Harsh maybe. I wouldn’t physically leave a bar if it was being played in the background, but I’d certainly not be aching to know who it was. So if safe coffee table Asian-influenced drum’n’bass is your bag then you’re onto a winner. For the rest of us I’d recommend looking elsewhere for your exotic sounds.

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Karsh Kale – Redesign Realize Remixed
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