Covering all ground from inspired to insipid.
Jerome Blakeney 2009-03-27
Doing what exactly it says on the cover, Remixed takes the Vancouver-based collective's self-titled first album and hands it over to some star remixers. Considering Canada's status as cultural melting pot supreme the results are surprisingly varied covering; all ground from inspired to insipid.
The problem may be that the original material was a little too flawed to start with. Depending on your stance, the whole idea of a 'fusion' outfit that combines Dhol, fiddle and breakbeats in a peculiar Irish/Asian stew is either a marvellously wide-ranging and free-thinking concept or it's world music of the worst kind; diluting folk forms that don't bear too much modern mangling just for the sake of it. For instance DJ Swami's remix of Dil Nachde is perfectly fine, filled with crunchy sequencers and thumping bass drums, but that Irish fiddle doesn't really sit that well.
On the flip side of the coin we do get the fabulous Double O Dubstep remix by Steven Mek of Nightstep which manges to be both eery and enigmatic. Meanwhile Eccodek's One Drop remix of Stage 5 is in turns dubby and mesmeric. The same goes for the Alice Russell-feauring Apples remixed by Tspoon.
A lot of what's on offer here is acceptable, if hardly groundbreaking, dance music that's going to sound fantastic in the clubs (like Sharmaji's trance-tastic Sub Swara remix of get On the Bus) but never really do more than make a fine background to getting ready for going out if played at home. Ultimately, if you're looking for an exploration of how to beef up or westernise Asian flavas then there are far more succesful and adventurous examples to be had. So, a (re)mixed bag indeed.