If you can tell the character of a person by the company that they keep, you can tell a lot about a band by who they ask to re-mix their music. With the likes of Daniel Ash, Assemblage 23, Rodney Anonymous, Mindless Faith and Gost Remix II all working their magic, or at least re-working it, on the band’s 2016 single it is obvious that …And We All Die move in some very rarefied circles.
It would be easy to be suspicious of a release which is effectively 10 remixes of the same song, but unlike the usual pop trend or commercial dance fad of giving a single a few pointless re-tweaks and changes of beat, and passing it off as a new incarnation, here the various collaborators bring much more to the table. They bring their own personality.
This is no mere make over, this is musical gene splicing, often the complete deconstruction and rebuild of the materials at hand to produce a chimeric facsimile of the original, a whole new sonic beast. Ben Weinman’s take on the song is the perfect example of how far things are taken as he crashes glitchy industrial techno into strange dystopian symphonics and seemingly delivering the whole thing through a broken short-wave radio.
Daniel Ash casts a straighter, darker and brooding spell on the song, a mix of the terrifying and the groovesome, the danceable and the distressing. The Rain Within remix feels like the missing link between post-punk dreams and post-everything futuristic nightmares and Gost Remix II brings a strange mix of clubland vibrancy and synth-wave poise to these dark visions.
Considering this whole album is based around one song, it is amazing how varied, how eclectic and how imaginative this is, but then I guess this is less a collection of remixes in the conventional sense and more in the style of variations on a theme of Modern Day Privateers. As a concept in its self it is destined to return some interesting results, but when you have the best in the game re-imagining, re-inventing and re-building the song, then the quality of the results were never in any doubt.