by / April 17th, 2012 /

Battles – Dross Glopp

 2/5 Rating

(Warp Records)

There’s a lot to be said for the recent trend of remixing entire LPs. If it’s done right you get an interesting twist to your favourite tracks as well as rekindling your love of the source material. Taking full advantage of this ethos are remixes on albums like The King of Limbs and Bonobo’s even more impressive Black Sands album. Unlike the two aforementioned records, this rework of Gloss Drop sadly manages to dissolve most of its contents into second rate alternatives.

One of the key problems is that many of the artists featured on Dross Glop seem to have completely overrun the songs. Patrick Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) and Dennis McNany’s take on ‘My Machines’ just sounds like the bastardised offspring of LCD songs ‘Yeah’ and ‘Get Innocuous’, while Silent Servant’s remix of ‘Inchworm’ – despite being a pretty decent techno track – contains mere particles of Battles. Granted all rules are off with regards to remixes but surely the idea is to leave some semblance of the originals intact seeing as their popularity is the reason for remixing them in the first place. Instead many of these tracks are simply dolloped in a thoughtless 4/4 beat, essentially technofying them into bland obscurity.

Thankfully this technique isn’t unanimous, some artists have managed to assemble interesting results. Hudson Mohawke successfully beefs up the two minute long ‘Rolls Bayce’ into a weighty four minute romp, while EYE takes ‘Sundome’ – arguably Gloss Drop’s best song – and distorts its elements beyond our world into a realm where frantic effects rule the land. Yet, neither of these two match the splendour of Shabazz Palaces’ ‘White Electric’ rework. Slowed down almost to a drunken slur, the downtempo hip-hop take on this Battles tune crawls along like a demented ice cream truck. Standing out above the rest, it’s the only remix that’s categorically better than the original.

Unfortunately, Dross Glopp’s small few impressive tracks are overpowered by the mundane throb of mediocre reworks on offer. In spite of the fact that Gloss Drop is a solid album and the remixing artists are of a high calibre, this still falls well short of glory. As a concept this idea can work really well but in this case you’re better off returning to the source.

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  • T Lauris