Kings Of Convenience - Versus
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Kings Of Convenience
Versus
(Astralwerks / Source)

The last time something like this happened on the Astralwerks, the resulting hodge-podge turned into sort of a carwreck. For some reason, a couple years ago someone thought it would be a good idea to let a bunch of people remix Low and although I think hearts might have been in the right place, the lovely tracks of the group were turned into festering piles of dance tripe that not only burned most of the fans that bought the disc, but upset the group so much that they don't even mention the album in their discography.

Fortunately, the Kings Of Convenience not only were notified before their songs were puree'd, but they were the ones to approve of it in the first place. After releasing their low-key (but very nice) folky record Quiet Is The New Loud, the duo of Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye handed over source material from that release to a batch of remixers that included both people they knew, as well as others suited for the task that they hadn't yet shaken hands with.

And really, the duo seems like a pretty laid-back bunch. In the liner notes they write that they enjoy correspondance and even ask listeners to take them on behind-the-scenes tours of large office buildings at night if they're ever in your town. One thing that helps is that the group of remixers picked for the disc seem to be on the same wavelength as the duo. While they're for the most part in completely different genres usually, there are no big-beat artists and most of the time the feel of the original track (even if completely different elements are introduced) is kept intact. A perfect example of this is the remix of "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From" by country-mates Röyksopp. The group keeps the almost flamenco guitar bit of the track and the vocals, but they add a subtle groove and some sampled wind noises that keep the track light yet slightly on the pensive side.

Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) keeps up his banner year by adding not one, but two remixes of "The Weight Of My Words" (a vocal and instrumental version) Chopping the vocals into smaller phrases and turning the guitar part into an almost liquid shimmer, he throws a funky beat behind it all and turns the track into almost trip-hop. The group collaborates with Enot for the 1970s cheese sounds of "Gold For The Price Of Silver" while Alfie add some clanging percussion on their mix of "Failure."

If there's one track that doesn't quite fit with the rest, it's the almost aggro, keyboard heavy mix of "Little Kids" by Ladytron. With a cold, buzzing keyboard droning through the entire track, the group also adds some rather thick beats to take the group into a dark, new wave territory. It's still an interesting track, though, and the release winds down with a couple quieter pieces. In the end, it's a release that obviously sounds a lot different than the source material, but one that fans of the group will probably want to add to their collection.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00