Remix album. The two words sound like a euphemism for a recording artist’s desperate attempt to make a quick buck out of recycled material. In some cases, however, an artist transcends this presupposed formula, reminding listeners that new versions of the same song can sometimes top the original. Danse Macabre Remixes is a different kind of remix album. First of all, The Faint produce an innovative sound in this dulled contemporary industry. Of course, it has 80s synth and pop as obvious influences, but why remix a sound that sounds like a remix to begin with?
From Photek and Junior Sanchez to electronica’s poster boy Paul Oakenfold, each track follows the typical remix recipe of repeated verses, complex layered beats, and most importantly, a completely different sound. The key to appreciating this album is to reference The Faint’s original material and to respect the creativity of spinning records. This particular combination comes out as the perfect album to wake you up after listening to Beck’s Sea Change or to get you moving while primping for a night of metropolitan frivolity.
You can compare the album to Bjork’s Telegram: innovative artists allowing their creation to be morphed into a more edgy version of electronica. However, Astralwerks should have packaged this CD as a set with the original Danse Macabre from 2001 (Saddle Creek). Listening to one will make you appreciate the other on an entirely different level.