- After having totally tweaked dancefloors around the world earlier this year, Ambivalent’s maniacal party anthem ‘R U OK’ has been given the remix treatment and is back for round two. Already established as one of the more memorable tracks to come along for some time – eliciting dropped jaws from all those exposed to its minimal beat patterns, wriggling synths and creepy vocals – ‘R U OK’ presents a challenging subject for a remix. Where do you go with a track so exquisitely oddball and well executed? Predictably, the results are hit and miss.
The set kicks off with Marco Carola’s 2 Beats Remix, the first of two versions turned in by the Italian producer. Relying too heavily on the mystique of Ambivalent’s original a cappella and lacking in any real development, the track fails to pass muster. Similarly, Paco Osuna’s WMC Remix, filled with washed out snare rolls and high pitched bleeps and bloops, attempts to recast the track as an upbeat number. Unfortunately, the sinister tone of the vocal fails to connect with Osuna’s vision. Troy Pierce’s Like It Or Not Remix is yet another take-it-or-leave-it affair that manages to underscore the darkness of the original, but it too fails to really take off; instead, Pierce opts to doodle around with repetitive synth figures and a static beat that don’t lack in potential, but never quite reach the heights of ecstasy they flirt with.
The rest of the set is a great success, with Minus newcomer JPLS turning in a wonderful remix featuring some seriously nocturnal effects processing that rinse out the last remaining stains of humanity from the vocal while his immediately recognizable beats push the track forward. Tim Xavier and Camea’s collaborative effort is another shining success, injecting the precise structure of the original with some vicious filters that don’t hesitate to grime the proceedings up. For my money though, the real prize goes to both Kasper’s Kasper Is OK Remix and Marco Carola’s 4 Beats Remix. Kasper’s version takes the synth throb from the original and stretches it into a droning chasm of analog resonance that threatens – and nearly succeeds – at swallowing the track whole, while Carola’s second offering sees him fleshing out the rhythm to turn in a late night workout worthy of the original.
With the availability of an a cappella version on the original single, the need for this remix LP may be lost on some. However, the quality of some of these offerings rivals that of Ambivalent’s production and will more than likely make for some memorable rave-ups as the summer season comes into swing.
A1 R U OK (Marco Carola 2 Beats Remix)
B1 R U OK (Troy's Like It Or Not Remix)
B2 R U OK (Kasper Is OK Remix)
C1 R U OK (JPLS 12mg Remix)
C2 R U OK (Paco Osuna's WMC Remix)
D1 R U OK (Tim & Camea Remix)
D2 R U OK (Marco Carola 4 Beats Remix)