- The thing that strikes you about these remixes is this: why didn't anyone do them sooner? OK, so this is Roxy Music, but when you look beyond the naffness of M&S's new poster boy Bryan Ferry and the general Harvester disco schmaltz, there's some pretty funky stuff going on there which is ripe for remixing.
The first 2 x 12” ‘Remix #01’ opens with Frank Top and Dean Rutland's take on 'Angel Eyes', which keeps the delicate spirit of the original but adds chunkier beats, and at a length of nearly eight minutes (the original is not even three), it’s far better for playing out. On the original, the whole band come in pretty much straight away but Top and Rutland take nigh on two minutes to tease you in with snatches of vocal and sax before the bass drops. They have also created useful chunks where there's just a beat and Ferry singing the word 'Angel', only with heavy effects. Solid re-edit. 7/10.
Kaos' take isn't nearly as good. It's pretty much the original only with a electrohouse/clash dressing. Plus it makes a feature of the harp – which is a bit preposterous. At nearly ten minutes, you've got to do something pretty special to keep people interested. That doesn't happen here. 5/10.
'The Thrill of It All' gets reworked by M.A.N.D.Y. and Booka Shade, and clearly they like a challenge because the original is daft and hilariously overblown – so naturally they take it down a peg. Or twenty. Instead of Ferry screeching about crumpled pages and the shadow of the night, you get just the kind of crisp throbbing minimal house you'd expect from these Get Physical stalwarts. Best of all, what little vocal you get is ethereal and in places makes Ferry sound like he's in The Knife. 8/10
Tiefschwarz go to town on 'Rain Rain Rain' and make it into a Tiefschwarz track, which is fine, but it's just not as good as the Booka Shade/M.A.N.D.Y. effort. 6/10.
Onto the second volume ‘Remix #02”. 'The Main Thing' becomes the subject of Rub 'N' Tug's 'Proton Saga', but don't be fooled into thinking that's a clue to what it sounds like. A more appropriate title would be: ‘Sleazy Saga with Nagging House Piano and Hands-in-the-Air Finale'. The best remix of the bunch. 8/10.
On the flip, The Glimmers’ remix of 'Same Old Scene' is a good bit of tweaking. There's no getting round the campness of the original so Ghent's finest export celebrate that and fiddle little but add a lot more funk. The bassline in particular sounds like it's been nicked from a Jay-J record. 7/10.
These reworks are good and, if they get people in trendy clubs listening to Roxy Music then I'm not ashamed to admit that's a good thing. But if they start buying clothes at M&S, that's a totally different issue.
A Angel Eyes (Re-Edit By Frank Tope & Dean Rudland)
B Angel Eyes (Kaos Extended Mix)
C Rain Rain Rain (Tiefschwarz Remix)
D The Thrill Of It All (M.A.N.D.Y vs. Booka Shade Re-Work
A The Main Thing (Rub-N-Tug Proton Saga)
B Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix)