Bloc Party: Intimacy Remixed
Bloc Party: Intimacy Remixed
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Friday, 15, May 2009 08:39
Wichita, out now.
In a nutshell...
Energetic but patchy remix album
What's it all about?
Intimacy Remixed is a new take on Bloc Party's third album, which was released at the back-end of last year. Already a record featuring a fusion of electronic beats and dance rhythms amongst the scrawling guitars, the remix LP sees a range of artists showcase their own versions of the original mixes.
Who's it by
Well, the likes of Armand Van Helden, Mogwai and the Filthy Dukes have had a go at tackling the songs on the album, which were of course created by Kele Okereke, Gordon Moakes, Russell Lissack and Matt Tong. A lot of the original Intimacy is generally based around the topic of both good and bad relationships, with many fans and critics regarding the lyrics as Bloc-in-chief Okereke's most personal yet.
Bloc Party have always been a band that have never shied away from the dance side of things, as they also released a remix album for their excellent debut Silent Alarm a few years ago. Although they didn't do the same for sophomore effort A Weekend in the City, standalone single Flux saw them fully embrace a guitar-less, electro-tastic sound.
As an example...
Anyone who bought the original Intimacy will already be familiar with the words - and to be honest, it is only fans of the band that are likely to pick this up.
Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys
While it is fairly brave for a band to commission an entire reworking of an album, the courage is unlikely to be met with much major awards acclaim. This is not a record for listening to on headphones and analysing, it's one for getting down to in some sweaty nightspot.
What the others say
"The stand-out track is the Phones R.I.P. mix of Talons. It combines modern electro with a dangerously catchy 90s hook to create what a person of said era would describe as 'a stonker'." - FHM
"Tough as it may be for the purists to comprehend, this record is better than the original." - BBC
So is it any good?
Like the Silent Album remix album, it is honestly a rather patchy affair. First of all, let's focus on the positives.
It gets off to a pretty cracking start in fairness, with the Villains' remix of Ares. A prime example of how a song can be transformed into something new through a remix, it sees the original's big-beat Chemical Brothers sound replace with a slick electro beat and dirty synths.
Another success is the Herve is in Disarray Remix of the album's lead-off single Mercury, which sees the song given a heavier electro-housey feel. However, its key moments is where it breaks down to its clarion call of a chorus before kicking back with the big bad keyboards.
Other tracks that pass muster are the discotastic Phones RIP Mix of Talons, which sees the song reset as a dancefloor-filling monster complete with vocoder, and the Banjo Or Freakout Remix of Ion Square. The latter goes against the grain of the rest of album by placing the song into a beautifully atmospheric and ambient soundscape rather than shoving a massive beat underneath it.
However, there are moments that fail to really live up to the standards set elsewhere, as none of the other mixes really manage to stand out from the crowd. The main offender is the Mogwai remix of Biko, which doesn't really add anything to the original and winds up sounding almost the same.
All in all, this record proves Bloc Party are unafraid to take chances with their tunes and see what can happen to them when they're forced away from the post-punk leanings they're well-known for.
However, while this may not be true of everyone who samples this album, the remixes essentially left me pining for another listen to the originals.