Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My '80s Remastered & Remixed

I'm at the record store and I'm browsing. It's a slow week for new releases so I'm open to whatever. I stumble across this compilation called Future Retro. It's a simple concept; your classic '80s synthpop songs given the remix treatment by a host of today's dancerati. Songs from The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, New Order and Devo get the treatment from people like the Crystal Method, Way Out West, Adam Freeland, and Static Avenger. Now, my alarm bells went off pretty quickly - seemed mostly like a bunch of past-their-prime DJ's at work here. But there were a few other names that nudged it into the buy column. Richard X turns in a basic update of Yazoo's Situation (Richard X Remix). He sticks to the original pretty much, with a slightly sped up tempo and a tougher edge to everything - the beats, riffs, even Alison's voice. The other intriguing match up is The Sparks' remix of Morrissey's Suedehead (Sparks Remix). I loved The Smiths, but have never been a big fan of Moz' solo stuff. Viva Hate was the only solo LP I bought, and this song is from that album. This is a radical reworking of the song, with all new music added by Ron & Russell. It takes it from it's very Smiths-like origins and makes it an organ driven, multitracked vocal extravangaza of art rock. Here's a funny story about the song. It's opening lines are "why do you come around?", and it goes on to rail against a former love. Back when this originally came out in the late '80s one of my housemates was going through a messy break up with a girl he had been dating for like 10 years. One day she came over to pick up some of her stuff and dude went out to the living room, flicked through my vinyl, pulled out Viva Hate and proceeded to play this song at excessive volume several times. Ah, love. The rest of the compilation hasn't really moved me much...

No comments: