Various Artists: 'A Bugged Out Mix By Klaxons'
'A rewarding journey through our generation’s most exciting minds'
When a band like Klaxons are thrust into the limelight as a result of winning the Mercury Prize it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone wanted to cash in. But rather than being a hastily compiled rush-release to paper over the fact that the follow-up to ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ won’t be out until at least 2008, this 2-CD mix album has been in the works since the spring and aims to show the eclectic tastes and favourite bands of last week’s NME cover stars.
To say the dance cuts that open this two CD comp are heavy is an understatement. They’re heavy in the way British teenagers are heavy. They’re Led Zeppelin heavy. To be honest, they’re a bit too heavy, unless you’re permanently lashed on several grams of East End magic dust. The L Bit’s ‘Tasty’, Johannes Heil’s ‘Artology’, Pedro Campos’ ‘Butterfly’ – it’s all dark and monotonous, and Dry’s ‘Overnoise’ is really just for generation MDMA.
But if CD1 is a relentless, druggy mash-up of the kind Klaxons would drop in the early hours in a London club, then CD2 is the morning after the nightmare, when The Fear has subsided and the demons have evaporated; the sound of dusty gramophones chasing away the hallucinations and chemical euphoria. Showcasing Klaxons’ voracious appetite for sterling songwriting regardless of the genre or era, the next 45 minutes take in their major influences one after another – classic Wu-Tang Clan (‘Shame On A Nigga’), Scottish post–punkers Josef K (‘Sorry For Laughing’), and the man James spent an hour on the NME bus at Glasto bending our ears about, ’70s psychedelic musician Todd Rundgren (‘Zen Archer’).
If that’s not enough, there’s plenty of other new avenues to explore too (Fad Gadget’s new wave cult classic ‘King Of The Flies’) as well as lesser-known tracks from your favourites (Blur’s ‘Me, White Noise’, the hidden track on ‘Think Tank’). And, in ‘They Don’t Want Your Corn, They Want Your Kids’ they’ve even managed to find a relatively listenable track from Liars. Less a compilation, then, than a long freaky but rewarding odyssey through the dark recesses of our generation’s most exciting minds. You won’t feel short-changed.