Review Summary: You're messin' with my zen thing, man.
Remix albums are almost always a gamble. For every Guerolito
, there's at least 3 Lady Gaga remix albums, and so forth. And it only seemed inevitable that since Daft Punk get the obligatory collection of remixes. Of course, the concept of these types of albums are simple: take some big name DJ, get them to take a track and give them their own spin, whether to "rework" it or to make it so people could dance to them. And whether or not it was even necessary for the French androids' magnificent soundtrack to be remixed is a good debate topic, especially seeing as they didn't even approve it themselves, and the album is just a cash grab from Disney.
And it seems only natural that Reconfigured
falls to the same traps that other remix albums do- namely, for every good or at least decent remix, there's at least three unnecessary and sub-par ones. And a lot of them don't really do much with the magnificent material they're provided with. Part of this could be chalked up to the fact that the majority of the songs on the soundtrack range from 2-4 minutes long on average. Case in point, the remix of "Rinzler" by Kaskade, which is interesting for the first minute (at least), before it suddenly succumbs to the "remix album pastiche" and becomes an atypical dance tune. There's not much substance or meat to these remixes, and that's a major problem- given the major talent involved, it almost seems as if the creators felt as if they were forced to preserve the magic touch that Daft Punk made on the original soundtrack.
Granted, the album is not without its moments where it shines. Ki:Theory's remix of "Son of Flynn" is excellent and actually provides a fresh take on the original track. Much of it consists of fiddling with the synth arpeggio that dominates much of the original track, and gives the song an almost stadium rock feel. Strangely enough, it works
. Added to the equation are a number of pinch harmonics that give the track its edge. Boys Noize's remix of "End of Line" is another strong point of the album, where it takes the John Carpenter feel of the original and reworks it into a trancy club anthem that you could imagine playing in Zuse's club. Teddybears' remix of "Adagio for TRON" is another strong point, where it takes the mournful original and turns it into a dance club anthem, complete with arpeggios that would make Muse go green with envy.
And that's about it. Everything on the album is just a bunch of "coulda woulda shoulda", especially frustrating since big names as M83 (whose remix of "Fall" would have been enjoyable if not for the annoying "Na Na NAAAAAAAAAA NA" that punctuates much of it), Com Truise, Paul Oakenfold and Glitch Mob, are involved. The people behind the disc stated before its release that its intentions as to have people "dancing on the grid", but I don't get a sense of that- instead I get a sense that much of this is a bunch of DJs taking maybe a minute of the original track and wanking around with it on ableton for five minutes over generic EDM beats (case in point, the end titles remix containing "d-d-d-d-digital frontier" over a generic sample), and slapping it on an album.