- Remixing a song, as opposed to a track, offers certain challenges—do you obliterate the song, just taking a couple things from it and working them into your own groove, or do you highlight it by switching the instrumentation around? Rong, like its partner label DFA, have done well by the latter approach, which is easy to do when the songwriting has a strong personality to either enhance or subvert.
"Looking Glass," from the 2009 album by Woolfy (born Simon James), is packaged here with two reworks. The only problem is the song itself, which isn't especially distinctive. It's a new wave ballad moaned moonily by Woolfy, but little about it sticks. And that ends up being true no matter who makes the music around it. The original version has vintage synth pop kick, dialed down a bit, with a bumpy hook that recapitulates the mid-'80s without building on them much.
Foolish Felix's back-to-basics acid version peps Woolfy's singing up a bit, and when he slows it down, then adds spacy synths more '70s than '80s, he works up a nice head of steam—notably, during the parts where the vocals disappear. Canyons finish off with a stoned folk rendition that could have fit on the soundtrack of an existential hippie road movie—except you'd remember the mood a lot faster than you'd recall the words there, too.
A1 Looking Glass (Extended Mix)
A2 Looking Glass (Foolish Felix Mix)
B Looking Glass (Canyons Mix)