I find reviewing remix albums harder than original releases. When your regular criteria such as cohesiveness are out of the window (and even become their own antitheses – a “cohesive” remix album may just as well be called “boring”) you don’t have much to rely on other than inevitable comparing to the original material and, well, the quality of each individual track. And the higher this quality is, the easier the reviewing gets. Global Vortex Records are good friends of trippin’ the rift and as good friends should they made reviewing AnnaBella Remixed as easy as possible by selecting 8 exceptionally good re-workings of Scarlet Monk‘s excellent songs. The fact that among those 8 tracks there a “pair” of remixes (same track remixed by two different artists) and a track that technically isn’t even a remix makes it even more interesting. Naturally it’s tempting to compare the two “Ring” remixes and I am prone to temptations, so here you go: Krts paints the canvas of the original with soft ambient tones nicely transforming the song’s bitter chorus into meditative chant while Virgin Magnetic goes into full-on downtempo anthem mode, starting out quietly and gradually adding on elements up until the grandiose drum part in the middle and keeps Scarlet Monk‘s vocals floating freely all the way until the quiet exit. Pretty much every track here is an example of creative approach combined with respect to the source material, but I don’t want you to spend more time reading this review than actually listening to the record (it is, after all, only 33 minutes long), so I’d focus on my favorites. One of them is definitely the CerebralFX remix of “Happy” that fills it to the rim with eerie atmosphere, echoes and whispers – think X-Files gone dub. B-Rice turns up the craziness with “Scarlet Temples” – a long glitchy kaleidoscope of various vocal samples heavily seasoned with dubstep breaks. But Paul muad’dub takes the cake for ingeniously transforming “Placated” into an uptempo dance tune, the kind we would expect to hear from Oh Land and the likes. Very neat and exactly what I’m looking for in remixes – really making the original your own and taking it to unexpected places. All in all guys this is quality stuff, and it will be released for free by Global Vortex, so what the heck do you have to lose other than a few blanks in your knowledge of good electronica? The first single is available for download now, the album drops on June 21.

R.I.Y.L. The Knife, ghost stories
personal favs: “Placated” (Paul muad’dub Remix), “Happy” (CerebralFX Remix), B-Rice – “Scarlet Temples”

★★★★½ tipkin’s rating

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