Count Basic: The Peter Kruder/Richard Dorfmeister Remixes
The Vienna music scene has blossomed in the past few years, with Count Basic and Kruder & Dorfmeister emerging as two of the best known acts: Kruder & Dorfmeister gaining notoriety for their DJ sets and remixes, Count Basic (masterminded by Peter Legat) for its funky jazz sound with soulful R&B vocals. So it only makes sense that the G-Stone boys would end up remixing Legat's work. This despite the fact that K&D is choice stoner beat-freak fare, while Count Basic's work is the kind of stuff that pops up on easy listening stations. However, their sensibilities may not be as far apart as it would seem at first blush. Kruder in particular has shown a strong interest in funk and jazz with his solo work, Peace Orchestra, and many of the songs off of The K&D Sessions lean toward a mellow, jazzy sound. Besides, with their tendency to remix the hell out of whatever they touch, Kruder & Dorfmeister seem capable of bending just about any sound to their style.
Shadow's Count Basic: The Peter Kruder/Richard Dorfmeister Remixes represents the collaboration of these two groups in its entirety. The compilation ranges from tracks which maintain much of the jazzy Count Basic sound ("Hide Abstract Jazz" and "Hide & Seek") to those which have been given the full K&D treatment (the "Speechless" remixes, in particular). From an electronic fan's standpoint, the heavily remixed tracks are likely to be the most pleasing, but the jazzy "Hide" tracks are a fun change of pace. Of course, Count Basic fans will probably feel the opposite way. The only misstep on the compilation is the unbearably slow and aptly named "Speechless Slomo". "Strange Life" is something of a disappointment as well: the sound is reminiscent of Dorfmeister's work on Tosca, but the overwrought male R&B vocals (singing about "people sleeping on a bed of snow" and "lovers dying of broken hearts") ruin all the fun. Perhaps the biggest problem is that the two strongest remixes, "Gotta Jazz" and "Speechless Drum & Bass", have already appeared on The K&D Sessions. As a result, there just isn't a whole lot to get excited about here. There is some redemption in Kruder's "Speechless Vocal Mix", which employs mellow drum beats and vocals with a whispering reverb effect. It's not quite K&D Sessions-caliber, but it's definitely worth a listen.
Ultimately, this is the kind of album that appeals to die-hard fans who feel compelled to collect anything with their favorite band's name on it. However, it isn't likely to turn any newcomers onto the Count Basic or Kruder and Dorfmeister experience. For those hardcore faithful, however, this compilation may hold something of interest. At the very least, it's something to tide them over until the next full-length album release.