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Bloc Party - Intimacy Remixed

Bloc Party, Intimacy Remixed

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

HAVING been fairly dismissive of the merits of Bloc Party’s most recent LP Intimacy, I arrived at this remix package somewhat sceptical.

Remixes seldom improve upon the original, so it was always going to debatable whether there would be any improvements here. That said, tracks like Mercury might benefit from a makeover.

To be fair, Intimacy Remixed is nowhere near as bad as I’d feared. Some of the remixes are very good. Some are pretty non-descript.

We’ve already had a taster from Armand Van Helden’s remix of Signs, which remains one of the better tracks on the LP, and which benefits from a more low-key approach than normal from Van Helden.

But Kele Okereke’s so-so distinct vocals also help, often rising above the repetitive drum loops and synth mash-ups to maintain Bloc Party’s sense of identity.

It almost saves efforts such as Your Visits Are Getting Shorter, from Double D, and Ares, the Villains remix, from losing their way completely… but not quite.

As is so often the case when a remixer attempts to lend extra dancefloor appeal to a rock or indie track, it becomes pretty generic and bland and loses all of what made it appealing in the first place.

That said, there are some mixes to enjoy. Mogwai’s take on Biko is superb, and evidence of one intelligent band knowing how to bring out the best in another without compromising the core values of either party. It’s slow-building, intricately layered and the clear album highlight.

John B’s take on Trojan Horse is super pumped up and not all bad, while Phase One’s ethereal take on Zephyrus thrives from a more brooding, atmospheric approach.

But the Herve Is In Disarray remix of Mercury and Phones RIP mix of my own personal album favourite, Talons, are just plain disappointing and give rise to the suspicion that this was a foolhardy endeavour.

Bloc Party fans will appreciate some of what’s on offer, and there is a curiosity value attached to a remix package such as this, but expect to be more disappointed that enthused.

Download picks: Biko, Signs, Letter To My Son, Zephyrus

Track listing:

  1. Ares (Villains Remix)
  2. Mercury (Herve Is In Disarray Remix)
  3. Halo (We Have Band Dub)
  4. Biko (Mogwai remix)
  5. Trojan Horse (John B Remix)
  6. Signs (Armand Van Helden remix)
  7. One Month Off (Filthy Dukes remix)
  8. Zephyrus (Phase One Remix)
  9. Talons (Phones RIP Mix)
  10. Better Than Heaven (No Age Remix)
  11. ION Square (Banjo or Freakout Remix)
  12. Letter To My Son (Gold Panda Remix)
  13. Your Visits Are Getting Shorter (Double D Remix)