Fever Ray, Seven Remixes

[Rabid]


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There’s a certain beauty to more commercially viable artists putting their songs up for remixes, especially when the artists are already teetering on the outer edges of said commercialism and the remixers in question are firmly ensconced in decidedly more underground musical pursuits. A house producer, for example, will largely stick to calling in similar artists to re-rub their tracks, while a slightly more mainstream act will generally gather together a more diverse range of producers to reinterpret their original compositions. Fever Ray haven’t necessarily traveled through every genre of dance music to assign remix duties for “Seven,” but they have chosen an interesting ensemble of talent to perform these duties.

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Though the remix package currently exists as a four track vinyl based twelve inch, it is an expurgated version compared to the promo CD which contains a further four variations on the title track. The big stars of the vinyl pack would have to be Crookers, who have made a name for themselves in the last few years notably for their remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘n’ Night” among their big room breaks releases for Southern Fried Records and similar labels. Though their take on “Seven” is far from offensive I doubt its jocular antics would much appeal to regular readers of LWE; their plump, tracky breaks mix will unquestionably get certain dance floors perspiring in all the right places, but it isn’t for me. At the opposite end of the spectrum Sweden meets Berlin as Marcel Dettmann’s “Voice In My Head” mix reduces “Seven” down to a broken line or two of the original vocal, forging ahead with a shaker-saturated, humping, minimal workout. It’s a perfect example of just how good a remix can be whilst using the barest scraps of the original and keeping it recognizable at the same time.

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Martyn provides the most complete interpretation of the track on vinyl, ostensibly running the vocal as it was intended, affixing his own brooding dubstep backing track to it. Employing the big kicks and chilling snare sounds that proliferated Great Lengths, Martyn shows a return to his melodic side that has been absent from his last couple of outings, but by his execution seems to be aiming for a more commercial take on the track (reminding me of how Wookie used to turn out UK Garage remixes of everyone under the sun in his own discernible style), which may well endear him to further such ventures. CSS rides the sleazy, disco funk elevator with a remix that seems to be stuck somewhere between the floors of seventies, fuzzy slap bass and eighties, crystal synths, which is fun no matter how you look at it. Over on the promo edition you get a radio edit, plus a further Dettmann remix, which leaks different vocal fragments over an elastic sounding beat and frosty, spacial sound effects. It’s got classic Dettmann elements laced throughout the track but it’s not a patch on the vinyl issue. Nicholas Chacona, who records with Klas Lindblad (aka Sasse) as The Green Men, re-imagines the track as a slow, tripping progressive house epic and Seth Troxler turns out a surprisingly sub-par tech-house plodder whose overblown bass seems to disfigure any sense of subtlety that may have otherwise existed. Whether the surplus remixes on the promo are issued remains to be seen, but the imperfect first batch which were committed to vinyl carry more credence than the more patchy leftovers.

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