Unlike rock bands, dance acts tend to go for the remix collection over the live album when they want to wring out their back catalogue. And, despite the name, Ame's Live is much more in the former mould. Although comprised of live recordings from the past two years, Live is very much a studio creation, with reworked versions of their own "greatest hits" and remixes for the likes of UNKLE and Underworld compressed into one continuous set. It's also ostensibly a celebration of Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer's first decade together, but while the form might be fresh, you suspect the motives behind putting it out might be more stale. After all, while their touring schedule is hardly slothful, it has been eight years since their eponymous debut on Sonar Kollektiv and their own productions and remixes have been more a trickle than a stream recently.
If Live serves the purpose of bridging a gap in the release schedule, it also follows the traditional structure of a rock set: building right up to the big tune for its climax. The darting bleeps of "Rej" are the equivalent of Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" riff, the trademark moment that everyone's there to hear. The opening remix of Roy Ayers' "Tarzan" introduces many of Ame's signature sounds; the stabbing orchestral strings, the supple tech house beats, the melodic fragments at once warm, poignant and minatory. It's a style distinctive but never restrictive, allowing them to descend from the peaktime heights of tribal techno chant "Ku Kanjani" to the lower dub pace of "Nia" and the deep vocal house of their remix of Osunlade's "Envision" with real grace. Ame transform the portentous dirge of UNKLE's "Hold My Hand" or the stadium techno of Underworld's "Crocodile" into something much more subtle, while a new remix of Gui Boratto's "This Is Not The End" blends Luciana Villanova's vocal into sensual ambience. It's all skilfully woven together, yet experienced outside the clubs where it was recorded isn't quite enough to breathe new life into this collection of well-worn favourites.
Buy Ame - Ame Live at
Tracklist: Ame - Ame Live 01. Roy Ayers - Tarzan (Ame Remix)
02. Ame & Amampondo - Ku Kanjani
03. Ame - Nia
04. Osunlade - Envision (Ame Remix)
05. Ame - Enoi
06. Unkle - Hold My Hand (Ame Remix)
07. Henrik Schwarz/Ame/Dixon - D.P.O.M.B.
08. Rodamaal - Insomnia (Ame Remix)
09. Ame - Junggesellenmaschine
10. Underworld - Crocodile (Ame Remix)
11. Henrik Schwarz/Ame/Dixon - Where We At
12. Ame - Rej
13. Ame - Setsa
14. Gui Boratto - This Is Not the End (Ame Beatless Mix)