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Entries in daft punk (3)

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:

Monday
Sep242007

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

Superfast stream-of-consciousness “reviews” just so I can get these things off my desk (yes I still buy a lot of them fuck off) k thnx bye

 

 

 

 

 

 Feist - The Reminder

Although I have a general order prohibiting singer-songwriter records from my home and hand drive, I listened to Feist’s previous record, Let It Die, quite a lot in my Sony days, and bought this one because it appears ceaselessly on my friends’ last.fm pages.

I thought it was mostly crap on the first listen, but it’s advanced to Quite Good by the second. Many of the songs will find more or less permanent residency on my iPod and assorted playlists for sunny weekends and yuppie wine nights. It must be said, though, some of the sparser, slower bits like “The Water” and “Honey Honey” are among the worst Sarah Mclaughlin songs ever made.

Top Tracks:

“I Feel It All” (Download)
“My Moon My Man”
“Past In Present”
“1 2 3 4”

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Shop Boys - Can You Forgive Her? (US Maxi-single)

Discovered this in the Used Rock/Pop section of Amoeba Records. I don’t know that it’s actually hard to find, but I’ve been collecting PSB singles for years and never come across it.

“Can You Forgive Her?” — the single itself — remains a top tune, and its sonic preposterousness has only helped it age, really. The circa ‘93 remixes, however, including a couple by Faithless’ Rollo… well, the less we say about them the better. There is one true gem on this, though, and it’s the Johnny Marr remix of “I Want To Wake Up,” a song released on PSB’s 1987 album, Actually.

A lot of people don’t know this, but Johnny Marr has done quite a lot of work with Pet Shop Boys. He played guitar on several tracks from Behaviour, provided guest vocals and guitar on “Up Against It” off Bilingual, and played guitar on nearly every song on Release — not to mention the several PSB collaborations with Marr’s other group, Electronic. 

Marr’s remix of “I Want To Wake Up” is probably more dated than the “CYFH?” remixes on this disc, but it’s such a perfect snapshot of the sonic style of the age. He took an unremarkable ’80s dance-pop track and housed it up with diva vocals, electric pianos, ’90s techno drums and his own funky guitar licks. It sounds like it could be on PSB’s Very, the record from which “Can You Forgive Her?” was taken, or even on Electronic’s Raise The Pressure, Marr’s disaster of a pop-house album with New Order’s Bernard Sumner. 

Top Tracks:

“Can You Forgive Her?”
“I Want To Wake Up (1993 Remix)” (Download)

 

 

 

 

 

The Chemical Brothers - Life Is Sweet (US Maxi-single)

 Another find in Amoeba’s used bins. This one stuck out at me not only because I don’t have it (I have almost all the Chems’ CD-singles), but because this one features a remix by DAFT PUNK! How did I not know about this? Anyway, the remix is okay, I guess. You have to go in remembering that DP made this in 1995 and not ‘99 or ‘05. It sounds like one of the filler tracks on Homework — which is still pretty good, I suppose. Still, it was a bit of let down after I was so excited in the store.

The other mixes are by the Chems themselves, and most would make good fodder for breakbeat DJs as not one of the versions utilizes the original Tim Burgess vocal track. Nothing classic by any means. Elsewhere on the disc is a “Leave Home” remix called “Terror Drums,” which is pretty cool as it basically strips out all the rhythm bits of “Leave Home” and replaces them with a new drum jam over which the sirens and other synthy bits call out. B-side “Chico’s Groove (Mix 2)” makes for good, groovy background music for a hipster cocktail party.

Top Tracks:
” Life Is Sweet (Daft Punk Remix)” (Download)
“Leave Home (Terror Drums)”
“Chico’s Groove (Mix 2)”

Garbage - Absolute Garbage + Tell Me Where It Hurts (UK Single)

Well, if Garbage have actually called it quits, they went out with a shitload of great songs. They’re one of those groups I’ve always loved and have been listening to since the beginning, but they’re also one of those groups I forget how much I love until they come out with a new record. 

This compilation is sequenced in chronological order, which is very cool because it begins with “Vow,” which means the first words the world heard from Shirley Manson (unless you count that footnote band she was in) were “I can’t use what I can’t abuse.” Everything holds up very well except “Special,” which perhaps always did have a bit too much a everything-and-the-kitchen-sink style of production anyway. The new song, “Tell Me Where It Hurts,” is alright. It’s kind of like “Special” crossed with “The World Is Not Enough,” which is certainly a decent genetic base. The single comes with a fun B-side called “Betcha,” which is obviously a demo but it’s a catchy dance number in which Shirley sings these words, playfully riffing off the grotesque Pussycat Dolls:

Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a bitch like me

Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a cunt like me

and

Bet you’re glad your girlfriend doesn’t cheat like me

Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a slut like me

Interestingly, Absolute Garbage omits the singles “Subhuman,” “The Trick is to Keep Breathing,’ “Androgyny,” “Breaking Up the Girl,” “Sex is Not the Enemy,” and “Run Baby Run.” That’s alright, though, because all those songs are fucking terrible. With the exception of “Cherry Lips,” Garbage picked all the wrong singles for beautifulgarbage. However, “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” is marvelous and one of their best ever tracks. I suspect it suffered from commercial fatigue in the imperial Version 2.0 era. Additionally, “Run Baby Run” is possibly the best song off Bleed Like Me, which I know isn’t saying too much, but I think it stands up against all the rest and should have been included on Absolute Garbage. It was just born too late.

The other “new” song on this Best Of is “It’s All Over but the Crying (Remix).” I barely noticed this song on Bleed Like Me, but this version has quickly become one of my favourite Garbage songs. Seriously, it’s way up there on my last.fm list

Top Tracks:

“It’s All Over but the Crying (Remix)” (Download)


 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Villalobos - Fabric 36

This is what I get for reading fucking Pitchfork. Basically, this is a DJ mix of all Villalobos’ own new material, released exclusively in this mix series. That’s cool and everything, but only if the music’s any good. That’s a bit harsh. If you like really clicky, monotonous, teensy tiny minimal techy music, then you would probably like this. To me, it just sounds like a bunch of old Macs crashing and starting up over and over again. 

Top Tracks:

They are all the same.

UPDATE: Pitchfork have reviewed this album and given it a staggering 8.7 out of 10.

Do you know what Pitchfork gave Daft Punk’s Discovery when it came out? A shameful 6.4!!!

BITCHES.

Tuesday
Mar282006

E-mails I write at work.

I’ve just seen the Daft Punk large for next week and it uses artwork from a very well known, previously released album. Enclosed is the proper artwork for this new release, so please fix.

Additionally, and I know this is very nerdy, but both James and I agree this is worth addressing. The LCD Soundsystem “Introns” artwork you’re using for the promotes is the iconic album artwork for the artist’s ultra famous debut record. As such, using it for this remixes and b-sides collection makes us look like n00bs. Our last highly dubious (and n00bious) intern couldn’t be bothered to find more diverse assets, which is why this happened. If this product ever comes up again, I’ll probably send new assets.

Yours in deep nerdery,

andy khouri
music department / sony connect