Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve - Re-Animations Vol. 1
Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve, as the breadth of Re-Animations Vol. 1 will testify to, are no ordinary remix outfit. One half is Erol Alkan (club DJ, remixer in his own right, producer of such bands as Klaxons and Mystery Jets); the other Richard Norris (member of The Grid, friend of the late Joe Strummer). These diverse CVs perhaps account for why this collection should appeal to more than just dance fans.
That's not to say those looking to boogie will feel left out. If you thought inside Franz Ferdinand's Ulysses was a great dance track dying to get out, this duo seem to have uncovered it. From the original, seemingly only a drum loop and the invitation to "Come on, let's get high" remain. Immediately following on from this is their "Re-Animation" of Late of the Pier's The Bears Are Coming. With its funky percussion loop and horns, it sounds not unlike a brilliantly wonky update of Primal Scream's Loaded.
Elsewhere, Peter, Bjorn and John's whistling hit Young Folks is chirpily sped up, extended and given a few psychedelic flourishes (the most commonly used trick in the Wizard's Sleeve spellbook), whilst maintaining its pop structure. Two of the most blissful treatments are dished out to Badly Drawn Boy's Promises (smooth, Balearic) and Midlake's Roscoe (shimmering keyboards and a 70's MOR vibe under the Thom Yorke-ish vocals).
Re-Animations Vol. 1 offers an impressive variation in styles (dance, chill-out, pop, rock) and range in deviance from the original tracks, never feeling workmanlike. So there you have it, Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve - magic!