Soulwax | Nite Versions (Modular)

Each song here is different, but not wildly different from the next, which aids the flow of the album.

 

This is one of those rare occasions when a remix album is easily forgotten to be a remix album. While most of the tracks are variations of songs found on Soulwax's own 2005 release, Any Minute Now, you can actually enjoy this album without having to be familiar with the originals. Here, the brothers Dewaele, aka Soulwax, remix themselves into ten individual eargasms that actually feel like one long, intense song. Each track blends so well into the other that, when you start to wonder when the next track will begin, you realize you're halfway into track six. In the spirit of remixes, Soulwax intends for this album to not be direct translations of each song into a more danceable beat, but instead inspirations of the originals into a dance-rock infusion. Mission accomplished.

Each track varies from the original in some capacity, either by sampling a specific back beat, reusing a guitar line, stealing a synth riff, or merely keeping the lyrics and discarding the music; the remixes are strong and awfully good. Even if you're not much of the clubbing, dancy type—which, admittedly, the album is geared toward—you'll find yourself enjoying it just the same. I'm one of those who can't stand long songs that don't shift at some point, which tends to bode badly for styles like this (and jam bands), but each song fails to repeat itself over and over. Each song here is different, but not wildly different from the next, which aids the flow of the album. Constant shifting and the adding or subtracting of instruments mid-song keep the sounds fresh and likeable. Standout tracks include "Compute," "Miserable Girl," and "KracK," all of which sport backbeats that sound as if they came from Trent Reznor himself. For being a dancy, club-infused album, Nite Versions hasn't lost its rock elements.

RIYL: Trent Reznor! at the Disco, Soulwax remixed by Soulwax.

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