Outside of regular releases, there’s a strong undercurrent of alternative versions, remixes and collaborations that give some recent songs a fresh delivery. On that basis, TEC is launching a new semi-regular feature looking at what we reckon are the best remixes of the moment.
This instalment sees us revisiting some acts we’ve covered previously in the form of synth-pop duos Platronic and Blaklight as well as “Dark Synth-Riot” artist Violent Vickie.
BLAKLIGHT – Into The Void (Cold Mix)
Blaklight dabble around in the classical synth-pop school of melody and arrangement, which still proves to be a solid draw for a dedicated segment of electronic music fans. Following on from their 2021 album release Into The Void (see TEC review previously), Blaklight have served up a new EP focussed around the album title track.
‘Into The Void (Cold Mix) isn’t a radical reworking of the original, but does give it a more punchy, dynamic aspect. It also shaves off the wistful intro segment on the album version (in fact, this track runs about a minute shorter). Meanwhile, Brian Belknap’s distinctive vocals continue to have an earthy, urgent quality to them. There’s certainly a nice hook on lyrical musings such as “The angels are praying/You’ll find me at the edge of the world”.
This EP also features two intriguing extra tracks in the form of two cover versions. This includes an energetic reworking of B-Movie classic ‘Nowhere Girl’, which does a class job of giving the song a turbocharged update. There’s also an excellent take on the Sparks number ‘All You Ever Think About Is Sex’ (it’s also worth revisiting the Sparks’ version just for the bonkers video). The quirkier elements of the original are still present and correct, but coupled with a driving percussion that gives this cover a distinctive flourish.
VIOLENT VICKIE – The Gloom (Dimension 23 Remix)
The 2020 album Division (see TEC review) provided an engaging experience care of Violent Vickie. The album bounced between sleazy electropop one moment, then gauzy echo-washed musings the next. Division explored a variety of emotional depths that could be unsettling at times, yet also cathartic in execution.
Originally served up as an ethereal outing on Division, ‘The Gloom’ here gets a darker makeover with a pulsing, squelchy quality care of trance producer Dimension 23. The composition offered up a cleaner electronic approach in its original incarnation (which called to mind the work of artists such as Princess Century). Here, Dimension 23’s version is described as “a dark punky dance remix”, which seems to be a pretty accurate summing up. The percussive drive of the mix also has a raw, visceral element at its heart which bolsters Vickie’s angsty vocal.
‘The Gloom (Dimension 23 Remix)’ is taken from Violent Vickie’s forthcoming Division Remixes album which will be out in March 2022.
PLATRIONIC – Dreams (Nature Of Wires Remix)
Originally released in 2020, the piano-led melodies of ‘Dreams’ provided a charming intro to an effective electropop outing.
Platronic are an electronic duo that combines talents from both Germany and Finland in the form of singer/songwriter Kay Burden and Finnish producer Some-E. Previously, TEC has written about the duo’s other releases, including the distinctly European-flavoured ‘Pride’ and the lush ‘Maybe Someday’ (which was also one of TEC’s Songs of 2021).
Bringing in the remix talents of Gary Watts under his Nature Of Wires guise seems like a perfect collaboration. As Platronic were celebrating their second anniversary, it made sense to ask friend and colleague Watts to remix what the duo consider as “their most important song” from 2020.
Certainly, the NoW remix of ‘Dreams’ gives the arrangement more space to work in while also keeping things surprisingly grounded. Suitably, the arrangement has a dreampop quality that’s also augmented by dancepop beats.
‘Dreams (Nature Of Wires Remix)’ is due out 24th February.