Review Summary: KMFDM throw a bit of a curveball with their latest remix album.
It’s no secret that most remix albums suck, but bands continue to release them anyway. The problem is that too many things can go wrong, and they usually do. The most common issue is that of the lazy remixer – the asshole that slaps a new beat onto the original song and then spends two additional minutes in Garage Band before calling it a day. On the flipside you have the overzealous remixer – the guy that changes the song so much that you’re lucky if there’s a single sound that you recognize from the original track (pretty much anything ever remixed by The Orb
). Of course, there’s also the fact that most remix albums lack any real flow due to the various guest artists and that the ‘hits’ end up on the album multiple times. Obviously, there are plenty more examples of remix albums gone wrong, but the main point should be that KMFDM have avoided most of them with Krieg
In case it isn’t obvious from the title, Krieg
is basically the companion release to their last studio album, Blitz
, which means that all of the tracks are taken from it. That alone has lead to an album that is more cohesive than your average collection of remixes, but there’s more to it than that. It seems that the guest remixers might have been given a bit of a direction to follow because almost all of the songs were altered in basically the same way. They all seem to have most of their industrial elements removed in favor of smooth synth and groovy beats that are dominated by female vocals. This alteration has actually made most of the songs better than the originals. Even the songs that deviate from that formula still end up being better than their original counterparts. A notable example would be the remix of “Bait & Switch” by Prong
. Their organic approach to the song gives it a rough post punk feel that is actually very reminiscent of 16Volt
It’s not very often that a remix album is better than the original, but this is one of those times. The tracks have all been altered in a way that removes them from KMFDM’s typical sound, but they also include enough of the original to still make them recognizable. It’s debatable whether or not fans of the band’s harder sound will take to this or not, but it can’t be said that this album is simply a weak stopgap release. The only issue that Krieg
really suffers from is that there are a few songs that are remixed more than once, but the attention paid to each remix is enough to turn that fact into a minor annoyance.