Thursday, 28 January 2010

St. Etienne - Foxbase Beta

Basically what it says on the packet: St Etienne's 1991 album Foxbase Alpha re-produced by Richard X, ie. not just re-mixed but *re-produced* indeed which seems to involve shaking the whole thing up and turning it into something new .. the same but different. And although the whole album is thoroughly 'modernised' (like we used to do with old kitchens) some tracks benefit from this treatment, others less so. Makeovers of Love Will Break Your Heart and Nothing Can Stop Us lose much of their original charm, whereas a couple of Alpha's more tedious tracks like Wilson or Etienne Gonna Die become more interesting. Like the Swallow comes through well with (artificially generated?) kiddies' choir and elaborations of the TV and radio samples from the original, (eg. the marvellous "Countdown Conundrum") plus some surprising new bits (OMD geeks look out) fill it out nicely. And all outer-wrapped in a kind of a rather contrived, virtual taxi-ride.
Bonus disc includes commentary and a couple of rarities from the Alpha days. If you're familiar with Alpha you will probably appreciate Mr X's re-make, and if you're not then now's the time to discover a whole new album.

Buy here

PS As Richard X is such a fan of early Human League, I wouldn't mind hearing what he'd come up with when re-producing, say, the aptly named Reproduction....

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