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Japancakes

Soon/Touched

(Sonic Cathedral; US: 23 Jun 2008; UK: Unavailable)

How do you go about covering My Bloody Valentine when so many guitarists have spent the past fifteen years trying to imitate Kevin Shields to no avail? To Georgia-based post-rockers Japancakes, the answer is simple: think beyond guitars. The result was a shockingly warm track-by-track tribute to Loveless. These two remixes, however, fail by veering so far to the opposite extreme, replacing the gorgeous pedal steels and cellos (of the cover album) with glitchy synths and electro soundscapes. At the very least, James Rutledge’s take on “Soon” is interesting in its imitation of that song’s high-pitched loop. “Touched”, originally a harrowing minute-long sound exploration, was fabulously reinterpreted by Japancakes for whining strings and minor chords. By contrast, the Ricardo Tobar mix, with its cheap, pulsing club beat, has nothing in common with either, rendering the 6:31 track as pointless as it is cheesy. Whether you’re a Japancakes or a MBV fan, stick with the 2007 Loveless tribute.

Rating:

Zach Schonfeld is an associate editor for PopMatters and a reporter for Newsweek. Previously, he was an editorial fellow at The Atlantic Wire and graduated from Wesleyan University, birthplace of Das Racist, MGMT, and the nineteenth-century respiration calorimeter, where he served as the editor of Wesleying, a popular student-life blog. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting presidential birthplaces and teaching his dog to tweet. In addition to PopMatters, his writing has appeared online at Rolling Stone, TIME, Consequence of Sound, The Nation, USA Today College, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. He can be reached at zschonfeld(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @zzzzaaaacccchhh.


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