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Black Strobe - A Remix Selection

Black Strobe, A Remix Selection

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

BLACK Strobe limber up for the release of their debut album next year by delivering a greatest hits collection of some of their finest remix work.

The compilation is available as a limited edition release that includes such highlights as their unreleased, doom disco version of Bloc Party’s Like Eating Glass and 2003’s underground smash Moscow Reisen by Caretta.

Black Strobe are, of course, comprised of Parisian duo Ivan Smagghe and Arnaud Rebotini. They have earned a massive following for their remixes, having been enlisted by everyone from Depeche Mode and Bloc Party to The Rapture.

Their best work stems from their collaborations with bigger artists, especially since this provides the platform for some mainstream-friendly dancefloor fillers that invariably get those joints and limbs shaking.

But their roots lie in darker dance music and they are also credited with reviving the bleep techno era that characterised Warp Records early releases.

A Remix Selection contains elements of both music forms and is sure to go down a storm with fans of leftfield dance. It’s occasionally thrilling but sometimes a little too heavy for my tastes, serving to highlight both the best and the worst of modern dance music.

Opening salvo Shining Bright Star kickstarts proceedings in suitably brisk fashion, providing early evidence of Black Strobe’s harder dance sound, while their remix of The Rapture’s ever-popular Sister Saviour is another crowd-pleaser – much like their pumped up version of Depeche Mode’s Something To Do.

Their little heard but much sought after take on Bloc Party’s Like Eating Glass is another favourite that will probably rate as one of the main reasons for owning the album for many listeners. It’s a little bleep-heavy but it does, at least, retain the essence of what makes Bloc Party so great.

Elsewhere, the package is a little less satisfying. Their remix of Teifschwarz’s Ghost Track is bland and repetitive, while Moscow Reisen is for die-hard techno fans only.

Rammstein’s heavy as hell Keine Lust is another ear drum splitter that grinds its way to headache inducing levels of frustration, while there’s very little variation offered on Dominatrix’s overly electronic Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight.

It’s for this reason that A Remix Selection should be approached with caution – it has some highs but they struggle to compensate for the majority of the lows.

Track listing:

  1. Shining Bright Star – Black Strobe [Phones Industrial Version]
  2. Ghost Track – Tiefschwarz [Black Strobe Remix]
  3. The Biggest Fan – Martini Bros [Black Strobe Remix]
  4. Sister Saviour – The Rapture [Black Strobe Remix]
  5. Something To Do – Depeche Mode [Black Strobe Alternative Version]
  6. Moscow Reisen – Hacker Caretta, Millimetric [Black Strobe Remix]
  7. Like Eating Glass – Bloc Party [Black Strobe Remix]
  8. Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight – Dominatrix [Black Strobe Remix]
  9. Keine Lust – Rammstein [Black Strobe Remix]
  10. Abusator – Sweet Light [Black Strobe Remix]