Where it worked so well for the Pulp and Soulwax crossover, the latest efforts of turning Cocker’s lyrical waxings into clubhouse classics fails to spark much love for the remixification of modern sounds. Remix Ed would make a fine B-Side setlist, but in its current spectacle as a push forward of Hot Chip and Mister Deltoid workings, Remix Ed has been made for an uber-niche, hardcore group. Those that loved the work of Beyond the Pale, and further down from that, want to hear Alexis Taylor cover House Music All Night Long. It’s not a large audience, but it is an audience nonetheless.
But Remix Ed, for that audience, is going to work wonders. Opening with that darker, brooding mixture of Save the Whale from Mr. Deltoid is a stroke of inspiration. Cocker’s lyrics bounce off of these tones, echoing through with a clarity not found on the original track. David Holmes and Keefus Ciancia’s “Unloved Rework” of Must I Evolve?, again, turns a decent track into a great one. There is more of an urgency to these tracks, but less of a thoughtfulness to them. What Cocker could balance so well in his heydey was the immediacy with the desire to listen again. Remix Ed hasn’t got that. These are good mixes of good tracks, and none of them will inspire perfection.
Take Am I Missing Something? for instance. What is it that this Pilooski / Jayvich Late Night Mix is missing? It becomes rather clear when the track is shortened by two minutes and rattles through the lyrics without much pacing. It focuses on incorporating how the lyrics sound with how the sound develops, without taking into account what change this makes to the meaning. But the worst offender of all is Hot Chip’s remix of House Music All Night Long. A crashing of lyrical accompaniments, blurring one line into the other and setting the backing music in what sounds like a sheet metal warehouse. It is a predictable rise and fall for the song as it hits the high and peters out. It is, quite rightly, beyond the pale.
But this nor the album these remixes come from are beyond the pale. They do not transfer any incredible step in the right direction. That uber-fan core is an odd and rare audience to appeal to. There is little use for Cocker or Jarv Is… fans because while it may include his lyrical wit, it does not include the pacing that is synonymous with its success. Take Do the Pharoh, the closest listeners will get to a complete separation from the style Cocker and company originally presented. It is not a great track, but it is different. Swanky Modes’ mix from Dennis Bovell may as well be the original song with a few bells and whistles attached to it. That is all this album is, an album of concepts and extras that feel readily available for consumption, but are so stale and uninteresting that it is hard to feel the appeal of them.