Review Summary: A collection of classic and new remixes from DM for fans of both the band and remixes in general.
What can you say about a remix album. Normally I wouldn't. Because, well let's face it, most remix albums suck. But what if it is an album of a band that changed the way we look at remixes?
For those of you that don't know, remixes originate from the early eighties when the 12" began to emerge. Bands themselves provided alternative and mostly extended versions of their own songs. Depeche Mode did that as well, and with great results I might add. The reinvented their own songs with alternative (i.e. Love in Itself 4) and extended versions (i.e. Get The Balance Right [Combination Mix]). And then in 1984 Adrian Sherwood created Are People People? from People are People. So an outsider to the band created a new version, or better yet: a new song, from a DM-classic.
This was the start of involvement of more outsiders taking on the task of remixing and recreating songs from DM. And others followed this trend, culminating in the current practice where almost every single by every artist is being remixed in one way or another.
In 2004 DM released their first remix collection, which showcases the evolution of the remix within the DM back catalogue. The new remix collection (Remixes 2: 81 - 11) walks a slightly different path. It focusses more or less on the songs from the last decade, without forgetting great older remixes like my all time favorite song Fly On The Windscreen (Death Mix) from 1985, Only When I Lose Myself (Dan The Automator Mix) from 1998 and the excellent instrumental Slowblow (Darren Price Mix) from 1997. It also contains 14 new remixes and some slightly older ones that were hard to get such as The Darkest Star (Monolake Remix) from 2006.
The new remixes contain a great variety. The single from this album is the Stargate remix of Personal Jesus, which I think is so so. Much better are the takes of Sie Medway-Smith and Alex Metric on the same song. But there are better remixes still. My favourites are Leave In Silence (Claro Intelecto 'The Last Time' Remix), Puppets (Röyksopp Remix) and I Want It All (Roland M. Dill Remix). But the other new remixes aren't far behind.
Special attention must be given to Behind The Wheel (Vince Clarke Remix) and In Chains (Alan Wilder Remix). For those who don't know: Vince and Alan are ex-members of the band. They never did anything regarding the band after the left, but now they are back. And how! Vince remixes the 1986 classic Behind the Wheel with his own poppy take on music, making it into a great floorfiller. Alan transforms the opening song from the 2009 album Sound of the Universe into a Recoil song. I love them both.
So for those with any interest in Depeche Mode and / or remixes, try this album. It will not disappoint you!