2CD, Artoffact, 2010
This is the deluxe edition of the 2007 release, “How To Enlist In A Robot Uprising”, from Guillaume Nadon and Yann Faussurier. The release includes the remastered original album and a bonus disc of remixes by such incredible artists as Stendeck, Xotox, Fractured, Cervello Electronico and a new song by Famine featuring It-Clings. After reading and more or less agreeing with the original review of “How To Enlist In A Robot Uprising” that we published in 2007 (see archives), I will focus on the new additions of remixes for the second disc of the deluxe edition, “How To Remix A Robot Uprising”.
It opens with a downtempo IDM mix of “Insomnia” by Stendeck that glides on thick pads, subtle lows, and shimmering arpeggios. In comparison to the fast paced, gritty original, this revision displays the vaguest of similarities and compounds the harmonies with far more focus on atmosphere. Autodafe’s mix of “Death Comes” rides the anthemic house trend with hard kicks and rolling Euro-synths, which frankly leaves me a little bored. Liars Rosebush’s mix of “Prophecy” rolls in easy and begins a rapid fire kick that is complimented by a steamroller bass line and soothing, airy pads. Rottersand’s mix of “Death Comes” manages to come harder than Autodafe’s while maintaining some of the same techno anthem feel – overall this mix keeps my attention and keeps my foot tapping to harsh hats and precise transitions. Xotox’s mix of “Sneaking Through the Totalitarian Filter” is everything I expected, with rhythmic noise percussion and sample intermissions; typically a fan of Xotox’s work, this mix lets me down by never really going anywhere beyond the distortion. Fractured treats us with a catchy, effects-heavy mix of “Ascent” that demands a second and even third listen; the percussion pulls and bends to the whim of the growling synth and bass, suffering a barrage of filters and time-stretch flair. Cervello Electronico’s mix of “Robot Buzz” slows down the pace and creates a slow ramp that leaves me craving the original version of the song. Studio X’s mix of “Energon3” avoids the suspense of the original version and comes out the gate with claps flying – the mix pounds until a quick lull, dropping to a build that pulls to the point of nearly breaking before crashing back with hard synths and club beats. NORAD’s mix of “Insomnia” is a clever MIDI-sounding cinematic revision; it manages a dramatic effect with looped ambience disturbed by thin strings and slowly introduces more and more percussion, climaxing with panning samples and the listener smiling. A final treat is “Beware of Memmaker” by Famine and It-Clings that combines a cynical analysis of the electronic genre over slithering breakbeats.
The final opinion is that the deluxe edition delivers up the remastered incredible debut of Memmaker and a second disc of fair to great remixes for any new comer to this band. This edition will be a welcome treat to the die-hard fans but beyond the highlights from Famine, It Clings, Fractured, Steindeck and a few others it lacks the appeal to induce the need to re-purchase this release.
— James Church