Air remix album. Careful now...
First off, there’s no reason on God’s green earth why anybody should want
this record. It’s a real ‘Zoolander’: vain, vacant, lazy, cheap and
exploitative. That said…
There’s a kernel of a good idea behind it and that idea is this: Air made a
fine second album last year called ‘10000 Hz Legend’ and, given the darkly
progressive bent of that work, it seems a logical step to hand over the
controls to other Formula 1 producers such as the ubiquitous Neptunes and
veteran reggae twiddler Adrian Sherwood to see what they can do with the
same raw material. They don’t do great things, alas.
Worse, what these two do is much better than the still births delivered by
the others invited to remix the THREE (yes, that’s three) tracks plucked
from ‘10,000 Hz Legend’. There are five versions of ‘Don’t Be Light’ – the
best of which is Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk‘s simple edit – and two
versions each of ‘How Does It Make You Feel?’ and ‘People In The City’.
Whichever way you divide it and however much you like the tracks, that’s
stretching the material further than it need go. Taking up the tenth track
slot, meanwhile, is an unimpressive out-take from those album sessions
called ‘The Way You Look Tonight’.
It’s hard work digging for redeeming features here. Modjo adds a summery
salsa swing to ‘People In The City’, the Neptunes flick their crisp Neptunes
production switch and cruise through ‘Don’t Be Light’. Likewise Sherwood
makes ‘How Does It Make You Feel?’ sound like just another lost On-U-Sound
track, only slightly less good than all those other lost On-U-Sound
classics. And, er, that’s it. At the other end of the scale, French fools.
The Hacker and Mr Oizo lock themselves in battle to see who can most
disfigure ‘Don’t Be Light”s previously fair features with acidic butchery.
Neither emerges with much credit.
Perhaps it would’ve worked better if Air had insisted on their guests
remixing the whole album, or if their guests cared half as much about the
end product as Air did. Either way, it’s true: everybody hurts alright.