Air : Everybody Hertz

Air : Everybody Hertz


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.

Ted Kessler