Various Artists - Leave Them All Behind Volume 3Over the past few years, the Leave Them All Behind franchise has been a way for Modular Recordings to slowly distance itself from the idea that it's merely a repository for Australia's newest talents and to showcase the diversity of sound its groups make. For the third edition of the series, the Modular DJs have compiled what helped define 2009 in terms of "electro," and in that loosely defined genre, you'd be hard pressed to find an album more au fait with its trends than this one.
As it is often the case with compilations like these, the fun mostly comes form the selection itself. Andee Frost opens the CD 1 mix with the gorgeous, nü-Balearica-tinged Classixx remix of Phoenix's "Lisztomania." It might seem a little counter-intuitive, especially when Phoenix has probably been the most hyped and blogged-about band in the past twelve months, but with its fade-in intro and debonair feel, the Classixx version is easy to embrace. The same can be said for the Holy Ghost remix of MGMT's "Of Moons, Birds and Monsters" and Burns' rework of Calvin Harris' "I'm Not Alone": Predictable on paper, these remixes remain surprisingly effective in their re-reading of the already-known originals.
It's not merely about good taste, though. Technically speaking, Frost's track weaving is also impressive, especially when the Tiga remix of Fever Ray's "Triangle Walks" morphs naturally into Canyons' "Blue Snakes." It all ends with Florence and The Machines, whose "Dog Days Are Over" is twisted here into a hypnotic and darkly twirling anthem courtesy of Optimo.
Blending styles and forging links between indie bands and dance floor-oriented thrills, the unmixed CD2 feels like it could easily belong to the Kitsuné Maison series. (Bloc Party is remixed by Alex Metric, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are remixed by ex-Smashing Pumpkins James Iha, both Franz Ferdinand and Delphic appear on their own. Woolfy and The Phenomenal Handclap Band offer up nu-disco goodness.) Sure, there is nothing remotely cutting-edge about it. (This specific aesthetic has been a template of almost the entirety of the '00s.) But Leave Them All Behind Volume 3 offers a pertinent southern hemisphere alternative to the Gildas and Masaya's Paris-bound vision. In other words, there is nothing to be left behind on here just yet.