Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday Feature - Six downloadable remixes and a cover from Phoenix's Bankrupt!

Hi guys, sorry for the disappearance. Mum fell down a hole and broke her leg in two places so I've been looking after her. I'll probably be barely blogging for another eight weeks however I'll try my best to post when I can.

So anyway...back in April French electro indie rock band Phoenix released their latest album Bankrupt! To accompany Bankrupt! Phoenix allowed other indie and pop types to remix their singles. Some amazing music has come out of these remixes and the best thing is that the majority of the remixes are available for download for free via their soundcloud.

Phoenix have a massive following by those in the know however they're the kind of band whose singles rarely make it into the top 40 (even in France) so it's most likely that you either know everything about them or nothing at all. If you have encountered them it is probably via their single Too Young which appeared in the party scene in Lost in Translation.

Here are my favourite of the Bankrupt! remixes plus a cover:

You can do much worse than start your exploration of the noise pop genre than with the bouncing girlish glee of Sleigh Bells. They very much make this remix their own by replacing Thomas Mars' vocals with that of the instantly recognisable Alexis Krauss, returning him in the chorus to create a duet effect. It is sugary, pounding and menacing all at the same time.

You're in for a real treat with the Trying To Be Cool remixes as they feature four cracking versions, my favourites being Canadian DJ A-Trak's indie trance epic and French DJ Breakbot's super funky disco groove. All of the remixes are available to download apart from the one featuring R. Kelly and all the components are also available to download so that you can mix your own!

My favourite of the Entertainment remixes is by Blood Orange (aka producer Dev Hynes / Lightspeed Champion) featuring vocals by MKS (the three original Sugababes). It is a twinkling, dreamy, forlorn R&B indie mashup with MKS singing a soulful version of the song's chorus against distorted guitar riffs and Thomas Mars' echoing main vocals.

Saving the best till last is alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr's 'remix' of Entertainment. Despite advertising it's a cover not remix. No one from Phoenix appears in this version and the vocals and instrumentals are all reinterpreted by Dinosaur Jr. I find it absolutely beautiful and actually (don't shoot me) better than the original. It is slow burning, tortured, heartfelt, etc etc. It is the perfect kind of cover, the kind where the band has put their own style onto a song without losing what made that original song so magical and worthy of being covered in the first place. It's very different from Phoenix's electro pop take on alternative music but if you approach it with an open mind you should find it just as enjoyable as the original.

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