Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Music: Six Remixes Worth Checking Out

My first memory of ever coming across a remix was many years ago on the 12” single of We Take Mystery (To Bed) by Gary Numan.  The B side featured an extended remix and it was basically just the original version of the song with an extra two choruses stuck onto the end, but nevertheless the idea of having two different versions of a song was a concept which seemed quite radical at the time and greatly appealed to me.

Thankfully, remixes have come a long way since those days so nowadays I love remixes even more and love searching out reworkings of songs which have been given a fresh perspective.  So on that theme here are six remixes I recommend checking out.

1) Austere (The Naked And Famous Remix) by The Joy Formidable
Any track combining the talents of the brilliant The Joy Formidable and the excellent The Naked And Famous is a pretty safe guarantee for success and as you’d expect this track produces the goods.  There’s something about this remix which just makes me feel happy every time I listen to it.  To be fair, that’s also true of the original but with the original there was more of a motivating vibe to the song, whereas this remix leaves you simply wanting to lay back and enjoy the moment.

Find it on The Joy Formidable’s cleverly titled Roarities EP.

2) Slave To The Wage (‘I Can’t Believe It’s A Remix’ Remix) by Placebo
A lot of remixes take a slow or mid tempo song and then crank up the BPM to produce a more dance floor friendly mix of the song.  This ‘I Can’t Believe It’s A Remix’ remix however goes the other way, and takes the mid tempo song Slave To The Wage as its starting point and then turns down the BPM dial to transform it into a laidback chilled out piece of music to relax to.  It’s a great beach track as I know from personal experience from listening to it repeatedly on Haad Rin Sunrise Beach in Southern Thailand.
Find it on the bonus disc to Placebo’s ‘Once More With Feeling’ greatest hits collection.

3) A Prayer For The Unborn (Grayed Up Remix) by Gary Numan
Any older music lovers that were fans of Gary Numan’s early work should definitely check out this remix of one of his more modern tracks, as it recaptures his early synthesizer sound brilliantly.  It’s pretty much two songs spliced together with the first part having a very sci-fi atmospheric vibe to it and warming you in nicely before the even better second half kicks in and the remix reaches its superb peak.
Find it on ‘Exposure: The Best Of Gary Numan’ and also on the bonus disc to Gary’s ‘Pure’ album.

4) Elevation (Influx Remix) by U2
The original version of Elevation is just asking to be given the remix treatment and this is a version that does it credit.  The Influx Remix of Elevation retains many of the original elements of the song, but then adds a subtle mystical Indian vibe.  It’s a version which at moments will have you gently nodding your head and coolly swaying your shoulders, rather than the more dramatic head banging and air guitar inspiring sound of the original.
Find it on the limited edition ‘U2 7’ CD.

5) Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix) by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The original version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ exceptional Heads Will Roll is pretty dance floor friendly to start with, so for anyone faced with the challenge of producing a quality remix it wouldn’t require a great deal of work   Thankfully the genius tasked with that challenge on this occasion has clearly understood the concept and thus with this A-Trak Remix it’s a case of ‘less is more.’  It adds a few beeps and bleeps but on the whole only subtle changes have been made to make the track an even more perfect fit for the dance floor while at the same time ensuring the brilliance of the original remains firmly intact.
Find it on the Project X (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album.

6) Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (Love Remix)
An old one to complete the list, although if you were going to be pedantic you might perhaps describe this as a mash-up rather than a remix.  But whatever, it takes two great psychedelic tunes and just for good measure adds a further dash of 60’s Eastern infused melody to produce a finished product that suggests the two original songs were made for each other.

Find it on the reworked ‘Love’ greatest hits collection.

Anyone wanting to hunt out the original versions of the above tracks can find them on the following albums:
Austere by The Joy Formidable / The Big Roar
Slave To The Wage by Placebo / Black Market Music
A Prayer For The Unborn by Gary Numan / Pure
Elevation by U2 / All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs / It's Blitz!
Within Without You by The Beatles / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles / Revolver

Download these albums on iTunes:

Find more music recommendations at the following link:
Music: The Big Roar by The Joy Formidable
Travel: Bako National Park (Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo) 

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