On the face of it a remix album with just five bits of source material doesn’t do much to loosen the purse strings. Look closer though, and you’ll see a pleasing array of electronic talent have offered their services in the name of reinterpreting songs from Nine Times That Same Song, the band’s debut album.
And it’s one of the lesser lights that makes the biggest impact. Gothenburg duo Studio made waves with their West Coast album in 2007, and the fact it opened with a fifteen minute song called Life’s A Beach tells you all you need to know. Their remake of Turn The Radio Off is a relaxed yet groovy affair that lopes along in an easy style.
The same track also fares well under the auspices of Maps, who pitch their interpretation right at the middle of a sweaty dancefloor, which is a crowded environment once they’ve finished, with a pleasing rush of white noise and some bigger riffing.
Felt Tip gets good treatment as well, and the fryars remix that opens proceedings adds a light break beat and some pleasant bleeps. And while the Hot Chip mix might not be anything new, it’s a characteristically subtle piece of work.
Make Out Fall Out Make Up meanwhile is a game of two halves. Unfortunately the Bees remix falls on its face rather, and it’s the vocalists’ fault. Adding a summery brass section works a treat with their own source material, but pitch it against the shouty vocals of Love Is All and you have a sizeable mismatch. Better to take the Chicken Lips‘ approach and turn out a slab of raw funk, even if it is indebted to the riffing of CSS‘ Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above. Taking it underground and bringing out the bass line works well.
All of which leaves the up and coming Metronomy, who turn Spinning + Scratching into a strutting piece of electro with a cut-up sax solo, a high octane mix from Optimo that brings a big electrical charge to Busy Doing Nothing, and the relative unknowns Tapedeck, bold and brash in their take on the same song.
So what initially smacked of short change is actually pretty valuable as a document of electro heads current and future. With their label’s current risky position now abundantly clear though, it’s doubtful EMI will be spending much on relative frivolities such as remix albums in the future. Still, let’s not be too gloomy and just enjoy the music!