Music

Hot Chip: We Have Remixes EP

Whatever your point of view on remix etiquette, the DJ game is all about individuality, and, for better or for worse, there's plenty of that to be had here.


Hot Chip

We Have Remixes

Contributors: Todd Edwards, Osborne, Caribou, Hot City
Label: Astralwerks
UK Release Date: 2010-09-07
US Release Date: 2010-09-07
Online Release Date: 2010-08-15
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Since 'remix' has become a household word, there's been a lot of hemming and hawing about the ethics of the form. The DJs in question have a certain double-edged responsibility to their source materials: a remix is supposed to work a fundamental change without sacrificing the integrity of the original -- whatever that means. We Have Remixes, an EP which gathers versions by Todd Edwards, Hot City, Caribou, and Osborne of songs from Hot Chip's newest album One Life Stand, proves that integrity is not always a revitalizing priority. The strongest mixes here are the ones that dice or mash Hot Chip's electro-ballads into something with a bit more flair, and each remix, whatever its take, is indelibly stamped with the signature of the DJ responsible.

Todd Edwards embellishes "Hand Me Down Your Love" with a lyrical synth line and streamlines the backbeat into perfect wallpaper for the kind of ear candy he so loves. Known for his work with vocal samples, Edwards gives Alex Taylor's falsetto an intricate, overlapping treatment that blends seamlessly into the mix's glittering fabric. All the versions on this EP are longer than the original, and this one suffers for it, making what could be four minutes of garage-for-thought into six and a half minutes of bite-sized, easy-digest pieces.

"We Have Love" is the pleasant surprise, a lively party-boy version from Hot City that essentially abandons the melodrama of the original for a sizzling snippet-driven bounce. The first play smacks of novelty and the kind of free interpretive license that made all those remix commandments necessary in the first place, but with time the generic pump-up solidifies into an entity all of its own.

Characteristically, Dan Snaith of Caribou is the only one on the EP to do any real magic with his song's ("Brothers") thematic content, making judicious omissions until the following line stands starkly out from the original lyrics: "Brothers / Will watch over me." The track has enough personality for an entire EP, with a frenetic, soft-spoken bassline and hushed, intimate effects that crescendo into a rushing white wash of synths. The fraternal schmaltz of the original is transformed into a mystical, very much psychedelic declaration of feeling.

"Take It In" is the most disappointing of the four. Osborne takes what may be the best song on the new album and makes a misguided attempt to beat the group at their own game. The result is undeniably very pretty, and the first two minutes or so are sublime, but the all-the-white-keys gush of the song's chorus can only take so much amplification before it becomes an internal cliché, and, at seven minutes, this last track is the most vulnerable to overextension.

We Have Remixes is a grab-bag of talented remixers, artists that Hot Chip describe as "some of our favorite producers, people that we have been following for years" on their website. Some of the songs make you play the original album again, and some make you forget about the album altogether. Each is worth a listen for its own reasons. Whatever your point of view on remix etiquette, the DJ game is all about individuality, and, for better or for worse, there's plenty of that to be had here.

6
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.

Music

Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.

Music

Martin Green's Junkshop Yields the Gritty, Weird Story of Britpop Wannabes

Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.

Reviews

Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.

Reviews

'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.

Reviews

Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.

Music

Why Australia's Alice Ivy Doesn't Want to Sleep

Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.

Books

Five Women Who Fought the Patriarchy

Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.

Film

Director Denis Côté on Making Film Fearlessly

In this interview with PopMatters, director Denis Côté recalls 2010's Curling (now on Blu-Ray) discusses film as a "creative experiment in time", and making films for an audience excited by the idea of filling in playful narrative gaps.

Music

Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.

Music

Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.

Film

Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.