Rock band remixes are a dubious musical black spot. A tendency for remix albums to become nothing more than final hour DJ fodder – something to get a worse-for-wear crowd turning to each other and going -hey, that’s Bloc Party‘ and dancing a little bit harder – can be a major turn off. Couple that with an often-dubious standard of mixing and you could rebuild Gatecrasher several times over with badly made remix records.
Fortunately, the cleverly titled Intimacy Remixed avoids the obvious pitfalls, managing to cling to both a high quality of musicianship and the recognition factor. Bloc Party’s daring, brash style of music lends itself to knob twiddling, and blends with the entrancing rhythms surprisingly easily, producing a lofty standard of dance-floor fillers that doesn’t capitulate after the second listen novelty factor wears off. The floaty comedown stylings of ‘Biko (Mogwai Remix)’ and shouty, vibrant energy of ‘Ares (Villain Remix)’ are the standouts here, with the Armind Van Helden Remix of ‘Signs’ also offering a cleverly fading selection of trance beats.
It’s the overall flow of the album; a subtle manoeuvring through different dance-based styles that makes Intimacy Remixed something special. Like any good dance-based album, the whole is infinitely better than the individual parts. For all its gentle distortion and deck-heavy effects, the sense that this is a Bloc Party album as much as anything never fades, and the feelings of dance floor euphoria never stops growing.
All in all, Intimacy Remixed achieves something that remix albums often fail in: a highly listenable, subtly energetic sound that will appeal to both Bloc Party fans and dance lovers. Maintaining its energy throughout, it manages to do something genuinely different with the music. Whilst not without its weaknesses (the John B Remix of ‘Trojan Horse’ is seven tame, forgettable minutes of beats), overall this far surpasses the run off the mill remix album, and will probably stay on rotation for as long as its more straight up predecessor.