tremble clef

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Alexis Strum, "Why Me, Why Now? (Bent Mix)" (2006)

Bent has some some brilliant remixes done to them, and have done some great remixes themselves. There were, for example, the amazing reworkings by Ashley Beedle of their "Always" (with the stunning pizzicato string arrangement) and "Magic Love" (with the thumping almost-tribal beat and thrilling synth wails). I'm also partial to the great but lesser-known Reverso 68 remix of "Comin' Back" -- Reverso 68 being that not-very-prolific team who also did a treatment of The Juan Maclean's "Tito's Way" -- with its percolating rhythms that should, but somehow never, get monotonous.

Bent's own remixes of other artists are always provocative, if nothing else. For one thing, they've often chosen some unlikely suspects: Lighthouse Family. Hall and Oates. "9 pm (Till I Come)." Indeed, I vaguely remember them once saying in an interview that they feel like they get more to work with when the original source is a little dubious, not that they were speaking about anyone in particular, ATB. Their remix of Billie Holiday's "Speak Low," done for Verve Remixed 3, is for my money the best remix of last year. I don't understand how they did it, but somehow they managed to get the synth lines to synch with the way tears rise to my eyes when I hear it. Freaky.

As Bent remixes go, their recent tweaking of Alexis Strum's "Why Me, Why Now?" isn't their absolute best, or their most radical, but maybe that's because the affecting original is no sow's ear. Bent adds more of a beat, some lovely synth washes, and then just let Alexis's vocals float above it all (and, at some points, reverberate effectively). But these are also exactly what the original needed to perk it up, and I for one would be happy if Alexis -- if and when she ever gets the chance to actually release Cocoon, sigh -- considers replacing the original with the Bent remix.


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