- When Modeselektor's "Black Block" was released in September of 2007, it exemplified BPitch Control's electro-techno sound while carefully flirting with the "maximal" styles of Justice, Boyz Noize and Daft Punk (who were, in case you forgot, all the rage that summer). On Happy Birthday! Remixed Pt. 2, "Black Block" lures in several more genres, boasting remixes by Marcel Dettmann, Rustie and Byetone, as well as a rehash by the cheeky duo themselves. With electro, left-field techno and dubstep all in tow, Happy Birthday! Remixed Pt. 2 is an impressively eclectic remix EP.
If it's been a while since you last heard "Black Block," the "Hiddensee 2008 Version" may have you scratching your head a bit—at first listen, it sounds exactly like the original. Unlike the other tracks, this one hasn't gotten any treatment from other artists; it's a live edit from when the duo played at Hiddensee last summer, which does little more than rearrange the song's parts to surround a whopping breakdown. It's fun, but far less interesting than the rest of the cuts on the EP.
"Rustie's Remix" is a bit more satisfying. This Glaswegian producer hasn't gotten too much lip service yet, but his dubbified version of "Black Block" shows what he's got up his sleeve. The driving rhythm is a drunkenly swirling affair, and the atmosphere is dominated by frothy, swishing textures. For those of us not yet familiar with Rustie, this remix makes a fine first impression.
Unsurprisingly, "Marcel Dettmann's Redefinition" is the best track here. Just as one might expect, it's out with the party synths and in with the murky bass kicks, as Dettmann does away with much of the original's fluorescence and explores the thudding motion of its rhythm. Like most of his productions, the textures are like swept granite, and the rhythm has a vaguely dubby sway to it. It is by no means new territory for Dettmann, but is certainly another impressive notch on his belt.
Raster Noton act Byetone follows suit with Dettmann, stretching "Black Block" to the limit of recognition, though to less moving effect. True to Noton's reputation, the remix is numbingly antagonizing, with warbling electrical currents densely layered over a pumping techno track. It is dizzying and visceral, and of course, a bit obnoxious. Nonetheless, it contributes well to a remix EP that reminds us how much variety can be teased out of a single track.
A1 The Black Block (Hiddensee 2008 Version)
A2 The Black Block (Rustie Remix)
B1 The Black Block (Marcel Dettmann Redefinition)
B2 The Black Block (Byetone Remix)