Let's get straight to the point. Audion's ‘Donation’ remix of Black Strobe's ‘I'm A Man’ is probably the most hyped release of the year so far. Although a lot of this hype can be put down to the fact that the track has been around for an unfeasibly long amount of time before getting a proper release, it also seems to suggest that this is a special record. But is it?
The answer is yes. This is a brilliant piece of music, though it doesn't sound quite as you might expect. Firstly it's worth noting that this is Audion's first major smash that comes in the form of a remix, and Black Strobe are now a rock band, so it sounds ever so slightly more like a song than some of his previous output. Indeed Arnaud Rebotini's camp vocal will raise a few eyebrows. Yet even though Audion's rework is a little more low key than the hype might have suggested, with a trademark chaotic breakdown only emerging around nine minutes into the track, it's still a masterclass in atmosphere and poise. The structure is perfect, with deep almost gospel style organs droning throughout, and a truly vivid sense of tension.
Here Audion has ripped up the original and rebuilt this track as a sort of "Nick Cave does acid house" confessional. The result is truly anthemic but not in the huge speaker-blowing way that Audion's recent work has been. Still, when it does ignite, stand well back. The remix works because you'll find yourself thinking that the 11 minutes in which you listen to it are the most intense and vital of the evening, making it the perfect record with which to finish or start a set. Audion's work here is even more miraculous when you consider the fact the original is a piece of truly desperate cock rock that sounds like what would happen if Buddy Holly and Trent Reznor had a Summer/Moroder style sexual encounter in the recording booth.
It's a testament to his skills that Audion uses little or no elements from this original and yet his remix sounds like you really wish Black Strobe would: lean, mean and dangerous. Sadly, lumpen is a better word for the French act these days. There are four other tracks on this record, none of which tell us anything about post-Smagghe Black Strobe that we didn't already know. Thankfully, that couldn't be further from the case with Audion, as this remix shows off yet another trick from the repertoire of a red hot techno star.
Tracklist: Black Strobe - I'm a Man (Audion Donation Remix)A1 I’m A Man (Black Strobe remix)
A2 Pins and Needles
B I’m A Man (Audion Donation mix)