The Remix album, once viewed as a cheap way of drawing out a few more pounds from the loyal fanbase, has, in recent years, been reborn as an artistic statement where familiar songs are contorted to show them in a different light.
Au Revoir Simone have broken from tradition and have not played safe, instead pulling together a castlist full of unfamiliar names with adventurous minds who do far more than just simply insert a new
Au Revoir Simone twist by adding predictable pounding four to the floor drum beats and whipping them up into club happy dance tracks. Instead the original structures have been delicately reworked;
the band’s character siphoned out, propped up and given the type of glistening ‘look at me now’-style,
high-class pop makeover that Gok Wan would be proud of. An already good album has been improved upon.
“It feels very natural,” grins guitarist Will Rees. “Sometimes I do wake up and think, fuck, this is our third record, we’re like old men, but y’know… it is quite a big thing.
It feels natural because we’re really good friends, and there’s no way we’d stop anyway, even if we were dropped or if we sold no records, which is basically true anyway. We’re not going to stop because we like each other.
And I think you can see it in a band from a mile off whether they’re going to make one record or whether they’re going to make five.” Mystery Jets – a merry band of shambolic Eel Pie Islanders once responsible for the nutty ‘Zoo Time’, played on dustbin lids instead of cymbals – are not a band you’d expect to find here in Mark Knopfler’s studio, being produced by Chris Thomas.
And yet the more you think about their quite unique career, the more sense it makes. The makeshift days of debut album ‘Making Dens’ never seemed more distant than when the band released 2008’s ‘Twenty One’
a vast departure from Mystery Jets’ patchwork folk tunes. With the help of Erol Alkan they’d achieved what few new bands manage: they’d made a second record that didn’t sound like ‘part 2’ of their previous effort.
‘Making Dens’ had largely been three ‘pop hits’ that charged around in Dexy’s fashion (‘You Can’t Fool Me Denis’, ‘The Boy Who Ran Away’ and ‘Alas Agnes’) and a collection of modest, slower ballads; ‘Twenty One’
was a packed arsenal of indie disco winners. Almost every track on it could have been released as a single.
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