Remixed starts with a pair of mid-tempo, jazzy mixes: Thomas Fehlmann's take on "Heaven and Bagpipes" recalls his legendary '90s work with The Orb, all Eastern-influenced and moving along with a humping rhythm over a bed of dubbed-out effects, while Strategy's version of "Get a Grip" ups the funk quotient with a squirming analog synth bass line and an alternately propulsive and hypnotic guitar. Later, Jan Jelinek remixes "Jonty's Way" into dark ambient bliss, building from silence into a cacophony of looped and echoed noise and free sax bleats and back again over the course of its seven-plus minutes.
As compelling as the slower material is, the dance-ready mixes are even better. Koss (AKA Japanese deep house producer Kuniyuki) takes "Heaven and Bagpipes" in an altogether different direction than Fehlmann, and builds his remake on a shuddering kick drum and layers it with skittering strings, heavily delayed and echoed horns, and ambient washes, before it eventually gives way to an explosive orgy of sound and a housed-up hi-hat pattern. The results are somewhat like what Kevin Shields might have done had My Bloody Valentine continued in its dance direction. Elsewhere, Move D applies his loopy, deep Detroit vibe to "Almost Live But Definitely Plugged," riding the fat double-bass and a handclapping rhythm and sprinkling some Rhodes, a well-placed ride cymbal and some chicken-scratch guitar into a plush track that continues his current winning streak.
My personal favorites, however, are two takes on the same tune ("Uncle Limps") by Isolée and Minilogue themselves. Isolée falls immediately into his typical lo-fi swing, mixing and matching a series of quirky modulated rhythms, pieces of melody and soundbites from the point of chaos until they finally fall into perfect order, just as all his best work does; the track serves as a timely reminder that the man doesn't work nearly enough these days. For their part, Minilogue turn in a fascinating hybrid of the two discs of Animals—the first half of the nearly-14-minute track is a monstrous tech-house anthem, all massive rising, falling, bubbling and phasing sounds over a silken shuffle of a drum track as effortlessly perfect as anything they've ever done. Eventually, the rhythm swallows itself and the final six minutes or so dissolve into beatless wonder, a perfect comedown for the track and the album.
Fans of the original IMPS LP will find much to admire here, but thanks to the depth, quality and diversity of the material, Remixed hangs together perfectly well as an album in its own right—certainly the hallmark of a successful remix project. Hopefully Minilogue will find some time to return to this project again between their massive tech-house releases.
Thu / 15 Jan 2009
01. Heaven and Bagpipes (Thomas Fehlmann Flowing Remix)
02. Get a Grip (Strategy Remix)
03. Almost Live But Definitely Plugged (Move D Remix)
04. Uncle Limps (Isolée Remix)
05. Jonty's Way (Jan Jelinek Remix)
06. Heaven and Bagpipes (Koss aka Kuniyuki Remix)
07. Uncle Limps (Minilogue Remix)