Bloc Party – Intimacy Remixed

More bad than good; we’re having trouble figuring out what the point of its release is.


For some of us ‘Intimacy’ was a bit of a let down, a dip in the normal excellence of Bloc Party’s output. Sure some of the songs were alright, but overall there was too much noise and not enough tune, leaving the album with the overall feeling of being messy and disjointed. Surprisingly for a remix album this does flow somewhat considerably better than the original, however the remixes themselves just aren’t much cop.

To begin with both ‘Ares’ and ‘Mercury’ are ramped up into the types of electro monsters that get referred to as ‘bangers’. ‘Zephyrus’, ‘Talons’ and ‘Your Visits Are Getting Shorter’ on the other hand are simply turned into generic commercial dance music. This is particularly surprising, for ‘Talons’ as the man responsible is Paul ‘Phones’ Epworth who has previously supplied us all with THAT fantastic remix of ‘Banquet’ all those years ago. The worst offender on ‘Intimacy Remixed’ however comes in the form of Filthy Dukes’ version of ‘One Month Off’, taking what was an Intimacy highlight and turning it into an embarrassingly retro turd. It sounds like the sort of ‘rave’ music that the BBC had made for them to soundtrack programmes that were ‘down with the kids’ in the 1990’s.

Obviously it’s not all bad. As we’d expect Mogwai and No Age do wonders with the tracks that they’ve been given (‘Biko’ and ‘Better Than Heaven’ respectively). The latter of these begins with a haunting tinkling piano before hitting full on with a noise that unsurprisingly sounds like the two bands meeting. The biggest surprise on ‘Intimacy Remixed’ however comes in the guise of Armand Van Helden’s remix of ‘Signs’. Now, Van Helden is a name that we’ve always associated with fairly terrible music, yet here he’s turned a Bloc Party song on it’s head, using a fair bit of the original yet turning it into a proper pop-dance thing, that uses all of the usual tricks of the genre (high pass filters etc) without actually getting annoying. The last remix that deserves mention is the Banjo Or Freakout mix of ‘Ion Square’ which is hazy and pretty with proggy keyboards and quiet vocals.

Overall, ‘Intimacy Remixed’ is more bad than good and we’re having trouble figuring out what the point of its release is (other than as a cash cow of course). As the remixes here take a more techno approach it’s more the sound that dance-heads would get pleasure from. Only we can’t see them shelling out for an album that’s got an ‘indie’ bands name to it. On the other hand there’s not really that much here for fans of ‘the Bloc Party sound’ as for a start Kele’s vocals are all but absent. Personally we prefer the approach taken on the ‘Silent Alarm’ remixes where the tracks were dismantled and re-crafted into something completely new but with the same reference points. Maybe it’s the choice of remixers or maybe it’s their source material, but overall we feel that ‘Intimacy Remixed’ is a little pointless and hardly an artistic triumph.

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