So it is true: [B]The Pastels[/B], after 16 years of shambling, really have exerted some tenuous, abstract influence over contemporary music....

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RZA As Bobby Digital In Stereo

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RZA As Bobby Digital In Stereo

SO IT IS TRUE: THE PASTELS, after 16 years of shambling, really have exerted some tenuous, abstract influence over contemporary music. For despite the fact that their last two albums were positively OK and that not since 1991’s ‘Speeding Motorcycle’ single have they released a memorable song, this Glaswegian trio carry an untouchable cool and respectability. Must be time for the remix opus, then.

Loosely based on last year’s ‘Illumination’ LP, ‘Illuminati’ features remixes by all the people you’d expect to remix The Pastels. We still have to grate our teeth and grin as the usual suspects – Cornelius, Mouse On Mars, To Rococo Rot – craft queasy electronica where once there might have been a tune.

Unlike most remix platters, though, the majority of the artists involved here display either originality or a secret loathing of The Pastels, and so seize the oscillation knobs with irreverent relish. None more so than My Bloody Valentine‘s reclusive Kevin Shields, whose infuriatingly brief ‘interpretation’ of ‘Magic Nights’ is the closest he’s come yet to recreating the warm confusion of their ‘Loveless’ album.

Similarly, The Third Eye Foundation conjures up some claustrophobic wailing for ‘On The Way’, while Make-Up actually manage to make Stephen Pastel and Aggi Wright sound sexy.

As increasingly popular marketing tools, these remix albums tend to be little more than pointless vanity exercises. Certainly The Pastels‘ [I]savoir faire [/I]and longevity has endeared them to many influential and creative people and now, at long last, it’s payback time.