Review: Jack Foley
HAVING impressed with their latest album, Never Never Land,
last year, Unkle follow-up with the mother of all remix albums,
a three-CD dance-fest in which James Lavelle and Richard File
get to makeover past favourites, as well as some choice cuts from
their vast record collection.
Do Androids Dream of Electro Beats? is, needless to say,
something of a mixed bag, flitting between different dance genres,
and occasionally veering into alien territory.
Its decision to play each CD as one track also means that the
occasional lulls, or heavy rock-outs, cannot be skipped, unless
youre willing to stand by your CD player with your hand
pressed against the fast-forward button.
But this shouldnt happen too often, for Unkle have managed
to keep things lively for 90 per cent of the time, thanks to some
neat makeovers of their own, classic tracks, as well as lively
re-inventions of past collaborations.
CD1 is probably the pick of the bunch, getting off to a flying
start with an extended Unklesounds edit of the haunting Richard
Ashcroft number, Lonely Souls, which appeared on their
own album, Psyence Fiction. The distinctive Ashcroft chorus
is broken down into a loop, and the verses largely dispensed with,
but the foreboding beats and tingling pianos are used to the max,
making it as addictive as it ever was.
Given that it eased you effortlessly into funky versions of The
Psychonauts Circles and Giorgio Moroders Tears,
which veer into David Holmes territory, only serves to heighten
the enjoyment, especially since the piece de resistance comes
in the form of two versions of DJ Shadows timeless Organ
Donor, which comes complete with an extended overhaul.
With Souths Broken Head remixes following in close
proximity, you have just the right mix for an evening of blissed
out, funked up dancing which is as good as the CD gets. Pity then,
it veers into rock territory, with slightly less successful mixes
of Queens of the Stone Ages anthem, Feel Good Hit Of
The Summer, and Sunnas Im Not Trading,
which becomes lost amid the need to pump things up.
Both tracks are good in themselves, but they are ill-served by
the makeover given them here, and the beats dont work as
well as you feel they ought to.
The same can be said of CD3, which heads into the type of dance
territory more usually reserved for the Summer clubs of the European
dance crowds; but even these are punctuated with some eye-opening
moments of pure class; most notably, an unknown remix of Vangelis
Blade Runner Theme and the Unklesounds edit of Radioheads
Everything In Its Right Place.
CD2, however, is another classic, taking in the likes of Unkles
own Ian Brown collaboration, Be There, an obscure version of the
Star Wars theme (to get things rolling in suitably tongue in cheek
style), the excellent Unklesounds edit of The Beatles Tomorrow
Never Knows, which slips effortlessly into their own, Eye For
An Eye, and, to round things off, a dreamy, chilled out version
of Rabbit In Your Headlights, which features Thom Yorkes
vocals at their most melancholy, yet blissful.
It may not be as tight as a DJ Shadow remix album, which thrived
on finding funky soul for its jollies, but it does provide an
excellent showcase for the Dj-ing skills of both Lavelle and File.
Unkle fans cant fail to want it in their collection
1. Intro - Unkle
2. Get Ready - Rare Earth
3. Lonely Souls - Unkle (Unklesounds Edit)
4. Circles - The Psychonauts
5. Tears - Giorgio Moroder
6. Organ Donor - DJ Shadow
7. Organ Donor - DJ Shadow (Extended Overhaul)
8. Broken Head II - South
9. Broken Head - South (Jagz Kooner Mix)
10. Feel Good Hit Of The Summer - Queens Of The Stone Age
11. The World Is Not Enough - Garbage (Unkle Remix Beats)
12. I'm Not Trading - Sunna (Unkle Remix Instrumental)
13. Nursery Rhyme - Unkle (Unklesounds Edit)
14. Battle - Blur (Unkle Remix)
1. Prop Master's Party - Tycoon Tosh & The Terminator Troops
2. Star Wars Theme (Obscure Version)
3. I Can't Comprehend - Skelf Feat Forme
4. Physical 2000 - Peter Dildo
5. Be There - Unkle Feat Ian Brown (Unklesounds Edit)
6. I Wanna Dance With Numbers - Girls On Top (Unklesounds Edit)
7. Kick A Hole - Forme
8. Hey Jack - Howie B (Unkle Metamorphosis Remix)
9. Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles (Unklesounds Edit)
10. Eye For An Eye - Unkle (Old Version)
11. Feel It - Bushwacka!
12. Holes - Mercury Rev (Unknown Remix)
13. Percussive Thinking - Forme
14. Egyptian - Bushwacka!
15. Interlude - Unklesounds
16. Rabbit In Your Headlights - Unkle (Unklesounds Edit)
1. Acapella - Biz Markie
2. Breaking the Girl - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
3. Grab The Rope - Animated (FC Kahuna Mix)
4. Mind Set To Cycle - FC Kahuna
5. Last Dance (And I Come Again) / Sympathy For The Devil - Superfunk/Rolling
Stones (Eric Morillo Dub)
6. True (The Faggot Is You) - Morel (FC Kahuna Headstart Mix)
7. Empty Love - Psychonauts
8. Blade Runner Theme - Vangelis (Unknown Remix)
9. Nightclubbing - Iggy Pop
10. Thru 2 You - Echomen (Bushwacka! Remix)
11. Fairytale - Landmine
12. Dream On - Depeche Mode (Bushwacka! Blunt Mix)
13. Release - Medway
14. Sacred Cycles - Lazonby
15. Everything In Its Right Place - Radiohead (Unklesounds Edit)
16. Untitled - Layo & Bushwacka
17. The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (Unklesounds Edit)
18. Unklesounds Outro