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Bitter:Sweet – The Remix Game

Bitter:Sweet - The Remix Game

CD, Quango Records, 2007

Those of us that believed the trip-hop genre had nearly ceased to exist will find this release a bittersweet reminder of that all but bygone era. This is not to say the artists are simply recycling the sounds of the early 1990s. They simply redefine the style in their own method, and whether by accents of mid-1950s bubblegum pop or the itinerant organ and resonant guitar of late 1960s psychedelic rock, you will find the familiarity of old in a nascent state. This is a markedly unique character that remains detectable throughout the various reinterpretations represented on this album.
As to who offers up these reinterpretations, you will find such noted dignitaries and long running producers as Nicola Conte and Thievery Corporation, as well as relative newcomers Fort Knox Five and Blackbeard, among others. Not to neglect this notable list of remix artists from the downbeat, chill out, lounge and house music scenes, a few of the highlights are profound.
In the remix of “Bittersweet Faith” you will hear the familiar elegance and grandiose sound Thievery Corporation has come to embody. Although once again they have ceased to deviate from that mystique, this track is still no less remarkable for it. Skewiff’s remix of “Dirty Laundry” will make a speed demon out of any impassioned heart who happens to be behind the wheel as it begins to play. Echoing the sentiment of the song, the line “What’s the fun in playin’ safe, I think I’d rather misbehave” sends chills down your spine as it waves past your ears and reverberates in the devilish part of your being. This author’s favorite track on “The Remix Game” is Yes King’s remake of “The Mating Game.” Representative of a doped out big band of astral proportions, this track epitomizes stellar swing; it is practically flawless. Were it enough to leave the description at that, I would. In fact I believe I will.
Although an exceptional album, “The Remix Game” is not solid through and through; you will find the occasional track lacking the luster and soul of the body of material on this release. Versatile, it is fitting for a jet-set lounge, an evening by the fire with a new lover or a light sand-wisped day aside shimmering seas falling under vast blue skies. In summation, “The Remix Game” is a crushing mass of timelessly drifting and swaddling sounds. For better or worse you will find this bellowing through your sound system ad nauseam, oh how bittersweet it is.


— George Caruso

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