A remix album is usually met with trepidation for many apart from the ardent fan. Some see it as an obvious extension to prolong the shelf life of an album. Others see it as a natural progression, and a way to include the many directions the album could have progressed.
Thank goodness that this album is the latter. The hugely successful The Race For Space was one of the albums of last year. It has now cemented Public Service Broadcasting as a firm festival favourite, as well as expanding its ever growing audience.
This album contains twelve tracks remixed, which continue the theme of the USA and USSR’s Space Race. It takes the original stand out tracks as the brains behind Public Service Broadcasting, J. Willgoose Esq., explains:
”Even back when I was still writing this album, I was imagining the kind of remixes we could get and the artists who we'd ask. I couldn't be happier with how it's turned out; I think this is a really interesting and fresh (and in some cases mildly bonkers, a good thing in my book).”
First up is the track ‘EVA’ remixed by Vessels. This receives the standard house remix of the original track. Although not a hugely original reworking it simply illustrates what a great track this is. However, the second remix of the track by Dutch Uncles compliments the original track better. With a further use of archive recordings they create a floatier, yet beat driven track.
One of the stand out tracks on the original album was ‘Go!’. Its use of archive voices as they confirm the “Go” signal via the various system checks was a strangely funky experience. Here it receives two remixes, the first up is by Kaul, and surprisingly they both decide to use none of the original material. Yet this first track is a bouncy soulful sound which confirms that remixing in its truest form is always a valid endeavour. The second remix by Errors is again a complete reworking with a slower moodier synth based sound.
‘Korolev’ by Field Music gets a true overworking, with a more sinister sound. The track is dedicated to Sergei Korolev, the Russian space engineer. The track is driven by synth melodies with hammering short guitar riffs and the repetitive spoken word which incorporated Korolev desire to be “Higher, further, faster than anyone.”
The second treatment of this track comes from Robert Babicz. It’s a return to a more dance based sound, with rolling house beats that are interwoven with spoken archive sounds. The same treatment is dished out with ‘Sputnik’ by Peter Dundov who offers up a simple yet effective sped up house version, whilst Blond:ish take twelve minutes to deliver a slower more interesting remix which interweaves a calypso downtempo feel.
‘Gargarin’, the stand out track from the original album is remixed by Psychemagik. It once again delivers as the stand out track of this album, with a crescendo of thunderous funky space beats. Again the use of original archives enhances and drives the track. ‘Valentina’ by Smoke Fairies is a more complicated, crafted affair. They featured on the original album yet this time they have been allowed to pull out all the stops. The track moves from being a slower plodded version of the original to feature a much higher tempo with growling rolling beats that meet trance like synths.
It’s fair to say that, as with all remix albums, if you loved the original you are going to love this. If this is your first experience of Public Service Broadcasting, then it’s a very good place to start.