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Saturday
Nov242007

Crap music reviews (Which is to say, music reviews that are crap).

 

 

 

 

 

Nine Inch Nails - Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D

With this particular collection, their might-as-well-be-covers of NIN songs betray the remixing artists’ fondness for NIN and makes the listener notice how much their own music has been influenced by Reznor. This phenomenon is most apparent in the tracks produced by The Faint and Ladytron, who conclude their “The Beginning of the End” remix with a bit from a very famous NIN track from another album. I also think I hear one of the Ladytron singers in the mix. 

There’s also a cool mix by The Knife’s Olof Dreijer — whose version would be absolutely perfect if that girl from The Knife had sang the NIN lyrics. Damn, that would have been so marvelous! Lazy fucking Norwegians. Or Icelandians. Whatever, pale goth techno vikings. Anyway, if you’re looking for a new Knife B-side, this is definitely it. 

Obviously, when it comes to New Order’s Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, the influence factor works in reverse, with NIN being perhaps one of Joy Division/New Order’s most successful sonic children. The Other Two’s remixes of “God Given” and “Zero Sum” would appear to be what NIN would sound like if Reznor had kept on the more synth-poppy style he sometimes gropes. “God Given,” in particular, is probably better than its Year Zero counterpart, excising all the noizey production that make that record sound too samey from start to finish and letting the song’s built-in melody and groove shine through. 

Remixers Fennesz and Bill Laswell contribute similarly produced tracks, and it makes you wonder what Year Zero would have sounded like if Reznor had gone with this more straight-forward sound. I think it probably would have been better.

There are a lot of interesting contributors to this record that help it stand out from the variously dubious NIN remix projects of the past. You’ve probably heard a lot about Saul Williams and his Reznor-produced album and how they’re going about distributing it. He turns in quite a good version of “Hyperpower!” called “Gunshots by Computer,” with some fine Rage Against the Machiney vocals over the mostly unchanged Year Zero instrumental. He also does a good version of radio hit “Survivalism” that’s not quite as good as another version he did that included his own vocals and was only released on some obscure format earlier in the year.

Peter Gabriel was apparently asked to remix “The Warning” and farmed it out to his staffer Stefan Goodchid and friend Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who Wikipedia tells me is one of Africa’s most acclaimed drummers of the last century. The mix is excellent, a good combo of NIN and Gabriel-esque world musicy sound. 

Perhaps most auspiciously, the lauded Kronos Quartet has a mix on here, and it’s pretty much just what you’d expect if you know their work. There’s also a remix by a fan, who created his version of Year Zero standout track “My Violent Heart” with the free GarageBand multitrack files NIN released online. The mix is just alright, but that it was included at all is just awesome. 

Top Tracks:
“Gunshots by Computer” by Saul Williams
“The Beginning of the End” by Ladytron (Download)
“The Warning” featuring Doudou N’Diaye Rose
“God Given” by Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert of New Order (Download)
“Another Version of the Truth” by Kronos Quartet
“In This Twilight” by Fennesz
“Zero Sum” by Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert of New Order

 

 

 

 

 

Daft Punk - Alive 2007

If you’re reading this blog then you probably know me and if you know me then you’ve nothing left to hear about what I think about Daft Punk live. I’ll just say that Alive 2007, the record itself, is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard and will forever hold a place in my otherwise constantly changing Top 5 Favourite Albums of All Time and will remain with me always as a powerful monument to one of the best periods in my life.

Top Tracks:
Every. Single. One. But why don’t you have a listen to these (AAC format, will play in iTunes):
Robot Rock/Oh Yeah (Download)
Touch It/Technologic (Download)
Prime Time of Your Life/Rollin’ and Scratchin’/Brainwasher/Alive (Download)

And watch this:

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