Pastels - Illuminati
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Pastels
Illuminati

Although this is technically a remix album by various artists, its still listed under the Pastels, so P is where it's going. Right off the bat, I should mention that I've never heard any music by the Pastels before, so I may give a biased review on the disc simply based on the huge amount of talent that the groups remixing the band offer up. One look at the back of the disc sleeve tells you that this is no slouch. With names like My Bloody Valentine (2 mixes), Stereolab, Mouse On Mars, John McEntire (of Tortoise fame), and Third Eye Foundation (not to mention several others), this thing could probably stand on name-dropping alone.

Fortunately, the music on the disc holds up just as well. Kevin Shields proves that he still has what it takes on the barely minute long "Magic Nights." With a burst of noise and a slow beat, it sounds like a tease for what is hopefully the new MBV to come (yeah, right). One of the only remixers who leaves the vocals partially intact, Cornelius turns "Windy Hill" into a light, electronic bop fest that will make any morning just a little more bearable. Stereolab also manages to give "One Wild Moment" a much more decidingly hummable personality.

As if you'd expect any different, The Third Eye Foundation remix of "On The Way" manages to stand out as a track that is just a little more sinister than the other entries. Although it has a light organ winding through it, the vocals have been twisted into more of a moan than anything else. The Flacco mix of "Frozen Wave" turns it into something that wouldn't sound of place on a Tortoise album.

Overall, this is a cool album whether you've heard of the Pastels or not (which I hadn't until this point). Most of the remixes are handled with a fairly light touch, giving the album a sort of pop electronic feel, but there are some great highlights and there is a ton of music on the disc (16 tracks and almost 75 minutes). If you like some of the artists mentioned above, their influences on the respective tracks are easily detected and make for a nice supliment of music to their regular releases.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00