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Perfect/FT Club Remix Review

Here is HOME’s review of the recent Perfect Club remixes and the new Fragile Tension Club promo remixes. From legends, to indie rockers, to new comers.. these remixer picks are a unique and eclectic bunch! Read on for all the details!

All remixes, whatever genre, will always be met with mixed reactions. Some fans will hate the one geared for club play while others will embrace the reinterpretation of the original. Like anything, it’s just a matter of taste. I’d like to preface this review with telling you how disappointed I have been in the remixes for Sounds Of The Universe so far. Normally there are only and handful I don’t like, but it’s the other way around this time… unfortunately.

So let’s get started with Perfect:

Perfect (Ralphi & Craig Club Mix)

Some of you might only know Ralphi Rosario’s name from his remix for Dave Gahan’s “Kingdom” while others of you will know him as the legendary dance music producer he is. He has remixed for all the heavyweights including Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey, and the list goes on and on. He’s been in the game a long time and is always one of those in demand remixers.. period. This mix, however, is nothing legendary sadly. It’s a good mix and one that is exactly what it’s supposed to be… a solid club mix. My only complaint is that it’s too safe and borderline generic at times. It’s not all the way “phoned in”, but close. If you heard the remix of Kingdom, you heard this one. Having said that, it does have a little funk to it. The beat and bass line work well and give the song some bounce, but the keys and synths are just those same epic ones used over and over again. The vocals are used well and work great! This mix will work well for that peak hour time in a club, but not a total banger club mix either. A few interesting parts, but mostly a straight forward, throw away club mix. I was hoping for something more musical from him, but it is what it is. The radio edit is a decent edit, but nothing too exciting. I’m sure dance music channels will play it.

Perfect (Ralphi & Jody Club Mix)

This mix of Perfect is a little more stripped back and isn’t as obnoxious as the previous mix. I’m disappointed in it, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad either. This one, while more musical, is just too safe. It gets the job done, but nothing more. Some interesting things done with the beat, nice break, crunchy synths work well. Again, just something for the clubs and that is more then fine. I was just wanting more of that underground house side of Ralphi and we got the more mainstream side of his production. That’s all. Good mix, DJs will play it, people will dance.. job well done. The radio edit is pretty much the same thing, obviously, but I could see it getting air play as well.

Perfect (Ralphi Dub)

This one is just a dub mix, so no vocals or anything relating to the original song on almost all levels. It’s a dub of the Ralphi & Craig Club Mix and you can hear more “parts” from the original sprinkled in then you might notice on the vocal version. That might be the only thing of interest for the average Depeche Mode fan to listen for, though I doubt the most hardcore fan would catch them if they heard it in a club. Just the fact that Ralphi is remixing will catch the attention of club DJs and they, even if they’re not DM fans, will give the track a shot and people will hear the song. Kind of the whole point of a remix, but I don’t have to tell you that.

Perfect (Roger Sanchez Extended Vocal Mix)

Like Ralphi, Roger Sanchez is a dance music legend. He has remixed for Michael & Janet Jackson, No Doubt, Daft Punk and about a million others. In fact, he won a grammy in 2003 for his remix for No Doubt! He is as well known as they come and is about as highly respected as one can get. For those of you that don’t know, he is also really well know as simply “Roger S” too. I have been a fan of his for years and it really saddens me to tell you that I am really underwhelmed by his remix. The mix is just way to peak hour and mainstream for my taste and one that is just offensively generic. I don’t want to say he was just cashing a check for a remix, but it seems like it. Like the Ralphi mixes, it’s a perfect club mix and that’s it. Will get the job done, will get played, but nothing of substance and it really bums me out to say that as a fan of both the band and the remixer. On a positive note, the DJ and the club that DJ will play to will really enjoy the mix and that’s the point. It will serve them well, but give us a remix with more substance and depth and leave the safe sound for the Lady Ga Ga’s of the world please!! Not even going to bother with the radio edit.

Perfect Perfect (Roger Sanchez Dub Mix)

I’m pretty much at a loss for this one, it was hard enough to put something together for the Ralphi dub. I’m just disappointed and saddened, nothing more. They’re not bad mixes, just total fodder for the clubs and it bothers me that both the names Depeche Mode and Roger Sanchez are related to this mess. Big, epic build ups and all the corny club cliches that go along with it, a DM remix just shouldn’t be this way and more and more they are. Peter Rauhofer anyone? Will people dance, sure. Will they know it’s Depeche Mode? Not on any level. To be frank, without the vocals… this dub sounds even more weak and that annoys me even more that it’s releated to Depeche. Sorry. Hey Ralphi and Roger, Frankie Knuckles hit a grand slam with his mix of Wrong, you should have checked that out before turning in these mixes… jus’ saying.

Well, that’s it for Perfect. Let’s move on to Fragile Tension!

Fragile Tension (Laidback Luke Remix)

Laidback Luke is one of those names I have heard for years, but never checked out. Having heard he was in the same world as David Guetta kind of kept me away from checking him out. Which is pretty lame really, but that’s just the snob in me I suppose. He’s recently remixed people like MSTRKFRT and Black Eyes Peas, so he must be doing something right. He must be somewhere because he sure isn’t with this remix, wow. This mix is terrible! Starts off promising with a good beat and some interesting sounds swirling around and then just progresses to go down hill. As a producer, I won’t deny he has skills, I just think the remix is really bad. Like a feeble electro, rave throwback kind of a thing and it does nothing for the song. In an effort to be positive, I will say he does use the vocals well and drops in a few parts of the original, I’ll give him credit for that. The rest is just a mess that might get some attention in blog rave, hipster world… maybe. Epic fail on every count.

Fragile Tension (Stephan BodzinMix)

You should remember the name Stephan Bodzin from the remix of “Everything Counts” he did with Oliver Huntemann a few years back. This time he is remixing Depeche on his own and he has put together quite an interesting remix. Some fans were treated to hearing the remix early since it was on his MySpace page and it, of course, had mixed reactions. To be honest, I think it’s really good and I don’t see how some fans could write it off as a “thumpy” club mix. Coming in at a solid 125 beat per minute, it’s hardly a club banger mix. It is a huge departure from the original, but it’s at least a nice slab of electronic music. Fun little sounds bubbling around with bits of the original all scattered though, a good change up really. The mix starts off with just some random sounds, some gentle claps, a little hi hat, and then the beat kicks in a mellow groove. Vocals are used, but not fully. They’re used more as sounds rather then the main focal point of the mix. It’s not going to be for everyone, but a great mix to kick back with and one that won’t pound your head in. Here’s a suggestion, start a mix tape.. er, uh… playlist with the Monolake remix of “The Darkest Star” as track one and follow it up with this mix and you’ll be doing just fine..

Fragile Tension (Solo Loves Panorama Mix)

It’s funny, I used to complain that they were using to many Minimal Techno producers to remix them and after so many bad remixes, I’m almost thinking they should bring them back! (Especially after all those horrible mixes for Peace. Japanese Popstars? Herv√©? Ugh!!) Well, not really, but still. This is a minimal style remix, but not boring and lifeless like the genre can be. So many of the minimal producers have been making the deeper and tech house stuff lately, I would love to see more remixes like that. This mix, however, is pretty good for minimal. In fact, it’s kind of campy in parts. A goofy horn dropped in that works as well as all the little sounds you would expect from a track made like this. Lots of little sounds of the original pop up all over and in and out, like the vocals, and it works very well. For minimal that is.

Fragile Tension (Kris Menace Love On Lazerdisc Remix)

All right, now were talking! Finally a good remix! Well, I prefer his Universe Mix more to this one, but they’re both fantastic and I’ll get to that one next. I wasn’t familiar with him, but I looked him up and I’m shocked I don’t know him. Though I have some of the singles of people he has remixed, so I guess I did and just spaced it. He has remixed some really cool bands. People like Royksopp, Air, LCD Soundsystem, Bag Raiders, The Presets, Tracey Thorn and many more. I have a feeling Depeche Mode fans will enjoy both his mixes. While this is a radical departure from the original, I don’t think fans will mind at all. Especially for people like me who don’t care for the original and can now finally enjoy it. Ethereal vibe with a nice groove, it just flat our works and I say a big thank you to Kris Menace for giving me a mix I can really sit down and listen to.

Fragile Tension (Kris Menaces Universe Mix)

This mix is the best of the Fragile Tension mixes, well on this club promo anyway. Both of his mixes are great, but this one is really fun. While the other mix feels more mellow, this one is more of a dance mix if you were to compare the two. This remix still has that mellow vibe to it, but one you want to rock out to. A nice balance between a Nu-Disco and Electro sound without being heavy handed in either genre. Nice funky beat, great baseline, and warm synths all around. I hope more remixers like this are used on future singles. Come on guys, give Lifelike or The Twelves a call. (maybe not Fred Falke though)

Fragile Tension (Peter, Bjorn and John Mix)

Well what do you know, the boys in PB&J give us a fantastic mix! I’m a casual fan of theirs and really didn’t enjoy them at all as support on the North American leg of Tour Of The Universe, but they made a really good remix of Fragile Tension. They have always had a subtle electronic vibe to their music and they remixed in that vein and it really worked. It’s an interesting arrangement and one the fans of both bands will enjoy. I have never been a fan of when the lead singer of the artist remixing sings a long, was ok with Goldfrapp, but I like it here. While Peter Moren’s vocals don’t compliment Dave’s vocals as well as Alison Goldfrapp’s did, they still add a nice layer to the over all remix. I have to say it, I’m very surprised and good for them. The remix is subtle, without sounding simple and that says a lot about PB&J, good one guys!