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The Grand Gestures – Remixed (Chute Records)

I’ve always found remixes problematic. The idea of making something new from the original parts of a song has always seemed more interesting than the reality. In my experience, the number of remixes interesting in their own right is a small minority, never mind the handful that manage to surpass the original song.

So you can imagine that, whilst receiving a promo of the Grand Gestures ‘remixed’ album was nice, it was also … a little worrying.

Yet rather unexpectedly ‘Remixed’ is a worthy conclusion to the Grand Gestures saga. The key here is the varied and inventive approaches used on these 15 songs.

One approach is to speed things up such as on the Man Without Machines version of Grahame Skinner’s ‘Poster Boy’, yet equally Andrew Wasylyk’s Balearic mix of Gary Clark’s ‘The World Will Break Your Heart’ takes the opposite approach with a spectral take on the original.

Some song structures survive the remixing process relatively unscathed if in drastically different arrangements – Andrew Wasylyk’s mix of ‘Into The Darkness We Go’ features an undertow of fuzzed guitars building to a hymnal, feedback climax whilst Emma Pollock’s ’A Certain Compulsion’ gains a real late night feel courtesy of White Label.

On the other hand there’s General Stench’s almost total deconstruction of Sanjeev Kohli’s ‘The Spree of Brian May’ getting rid of virtually everything from the original.

I’d certainly not go as far as to say that the bulk of these versions surpass the originals but there’s no doubt that they exist as interpretations of these songs in their own, equally valid, right.  

Which means that, having pulled off the unlikely trick of making a Christmas album palatable to me last year, the Grand Gestures have further confounded me by making a positive case for the remix album.

Certainly this album will appeal if you’ve enjoyed the Grand Gestures up until now, but it will also offer a way into the previous records for those new to the project.

Here’s one of my favourites from the album which is not only a remix but also a Christmas song!.

‘Remixed’ is available from Chute Records here.

In other Grand Gestures related news a series of portraits by Contributor Celie Byrne of the various Grand Gestures will be on display at the Fire Station Creative in Dunfermline from 7 October to 6 November. More info here.

 

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