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Depeche Mode The Remixes 81-04 Review

Compilation. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

Many of the newer remixes are stunning, thumping beasts that are more than capable of...

Peter Davis 2004

Over the years, Depeche Mode have had many guises. From Basildon pin-up boy-band at the start of the 80s through metal bashing S&M funksters to stadium friendly electro/industrial rock-gods. Yet, all the while the band been fuelled by dance music and they saw the importance of the remix coming, grabbed it and started running. They developed it from a groovy seven minute diversion on the B-side into an art-form in itself; as much of a reason to buy the single as the A-side. This new compilation charts the development of the remix as much as the changing sound of the Mode.

The roll call here includes the cream of the world's best remixers from the last 20 years demonstrating both the huge influence DM have had and the respect they command. DJ Shadow, Underworld, Goldfrapp, Air, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Mike Shinoda, Danny Tenaglia, William Orbit, Timo Maas and the mighty Adrian Sherwood, they're all here.

Whilst the album is chock full of absolute classics, to modern ears some of the earlier remixes can sound a bit, well, cheesy. But just as those slightly embarrassing photos from childhood are an essential part of who we are, many of the early cuts, like the Beatmasters' take on "Route 66" are triumphs of old skool funkiness.

But don't think this compilation is just one for the DM completist; many of the newer remixes, especially those on the limited edition third CD are stunning, thumping beasts that are more than capable of introducing the Mode to a whole new audience of clubbers.

Highlights? Speedy J's "It's No Good", a barnstorming psychedelic drum & bass bliss-out; Goldfrapp's sublime "Felt-Mountain"-esque version of "Halo"; William Orbit's "Walking In My Shoes" and Rex the Dog's euro-disco "Photographic". You can almost feel the sweat drip down the walls on Club 69's hard-house "It's No Good", while Ulrich Schnauss' epic reworking of "Little 15" could easily be the closing music to the most moving film you ever saw.

Go get it, and soon!

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