October 28, 2013

Linkin Park's 'RECHARGED' and seven other brilliant remix albums
by Tom
Tom

by Tom Goodwyn

hmv London; 28/10/2013

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hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Linkin Park's 'RECHARGED' and seven other brilliant remix albums

California rock behemoths Linkin Park drop the second remix album of their career this week in the shape of RECHARGED.

The band’s first remix record came in 2002, hot on the heels of their hugely successful debut album Hybrid Theory (27 million copies sold and counting) and featured remixes from the likes of Orgy’s Jay Gordon, The Alchemist and The Humble Brothers.

Now, over 10 years later, they’re at it again, roping in big names like Steve Aoki, Killsonik, Money Mark and Pusha T to appear on Recharged, which is made up of remixes of tracks from the band’s 2012 album Living Things.

Remix albums are generally viewed as either a stopgap while the band get themselves together for a new studio album or a shameless cash cow to squeeze hardcore fan bases.

But, over the years, there have been quite a few interesting and worthwhile remix albums that are more than worth investing in. We’ve picked out seven of the best of them for you:

Telegram

Bjork - 'Telegram'

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Bjork released her third remix album late last year, but it’s Telegram, her first, which remains the one to get. Featuring cuts from her breakthrough album Post and, being Bjork, the variety of guests is absolutely encompassing. As well as dance producers, classical drummer Evelyn Glennie and orchestral group the Brodsky Quartet are among the featured collaborators. Occasionally bonkers, but mostly pretty brilliant.

We're New Here

Gil Scott-Herron & Jamie XX - 'We're New Here'

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Now sadly no longer with us, legendary jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron’s last full-length album I’m New Here is a masterpiece in itself, but after The xx’s Jamie xx got hold of it, it became one of the best remix albums ever created. Mixing mellow beats, avant-garde arrangement and soulful grooves with Scott-Heron’s distinctive words, this rightly drew universal plaudits from critics and fans alike.

Silent Alarm Remixed

Bloc Party - 'Silent Alarm Remixed'

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After the success of their debut album Silent Alarm, Bloc Party went all out when it came to finding remixers. The likes of Paul Epworth, Ladytron, Erol Alkan, M83, Four Tet and Death From Above 1979 all feature on the record, which keeps the grooves and rhythms of Bloc Party firmly in the mix.

Further Down The Spiral

Nine Inch Nails - 'Further Down The Spiral'

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Trent Reznor loves remix albums, he’s made three of them over the years, but 1995’s Further Down The Spiral is by far the best of them. Featuring lavish reworking of tracks from Nine Inch Nails’ definitive album The Downward Spiral, these reworkings added a new dimension to the album’s bleak brilliance. Among the remixers are members of Throbbing Gristle and Coil as well as the likes of Rick Rubin, Aphex Twin and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.

Remixes 81>04

Depeche Mode - '‘Remixes 81-04’

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Featuring the likes of DJ Shadow, Timo Maas, Goldfrapp and Underworld adding their touch to Depeche Mode’s dark, elegant pop music, this three-disc set is as compelling a listen as the band themselves.

No Protection

Massive Attack – 'No Protection'

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Billed as Massive Attack vs. The Mad Professor, this record saw the trip-hop pioneers basically hand over their second LP Protection to the dub producer and letting him run riot. The result is an album that’s as good as anything in the Bristol collective’s back catalogue. Giving the tracks a looser feel with the beats emphasized and vocals downplayed, it’s a great spin on an already brilliant album.

The Remix

Lady Gaga - 'The Remix'

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Gaga has put out two remix records, but this is easily the superior one, with top line remixers like Passion Pit, Starsmith and Sound Of Arrows are on excellent form throughout. The remix album of Born This Way had bigger names, but this is one to buy.