Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - Re-Animations Volume 1 (Album)

Midlake - Roscoe [Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Reanimation]

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve is an odd pairing, comprised of super cool DJ, remixer, producer and my all time hero Erol Alkan and Richard Norris from The Grid who/which i know nothing about other than they produced that novelty dance track with the banjo 'Swamp Thing' (which i occasionally pull out at gigs for comedy effect).

Stranger still is the kind of music these two create when they get together. The first thing i must stress about this album is the title, the twelve songs are re-animations not remixes. This means BTWS have taken the songs apart and rebuilt them from the ground up, often as entirely different tracks keeping only snippets of the original vocal. It's a completely different experience for me as i'm quite used to hearing remixes and having heard a few of these versions accompanying the originals on vinyls and blogs i was rather unimpressed. Initially they seemed like long-winded, uneventful covers, i was also turned off by the term 'Psychedelia' which i had heard in description of BTWS work. In fact the sleeve actually contains a brief analysis of how this album falls into the category of Psychedelia, based largely on the use of reversed notes and the mentality of 'mashing up' a track and turning it ito something else. My recommendation would be to not pay attention to this label because it doesn't do the album justice. I would, instead, suggest focusing on the warm, pulsing, elongated chords that wrap the listener in a warm but slightly unnerving, sonic blanket, or the intricate shuffling percussion that sounds like BTWS have enlisted an entire Brazillian carnival and then dosed them with sleeping pills, or better still the low slung rubber bass lines that drive the songs out of ambience and onto the dancefloor charting a certain level of sobriety that is present both as the sun goes down and toxin levels are rising and vice versa. It amazes me how well these songs fit together on an album, despite being created seperately they sit alongside one another as if each re-animation was written with the next in mind. It's the way the tracks bind that allowed me to appreciate BTWS as they deserve, this isn't a CD of music by other people, it's a CD of music by BTWS inspired by bands you like with vocals that you recognise.

It's difficult to pick a favourite for you to listen to, i adore all of these songs from the carnival re-interpretation of the bonkers Late Of The Pier track 'The Bears Are Coming' to the drug infused house bassline of Tracey Thorn's 'Raise The Roof' and the soft piano chords and tinkles of Badly Drawn Boy's 'Promises' but i've chosen Midlake's Roscoe because it's the first one i ever heard and whilst each re-animation has it's own quality, this is the most beautiful.

Related Post:
Late Of The Pier

No comments: