For those of us who believed that ‘10,000 Htz Legend’ was easily the best record Air had made so far, the prospect of hearing re-jigged versions of such cyber-prog symphonies as ‘Electronic Performers and ‘Radian’ was a tantalizing one.
If only those two tracks were featured here. Of the original LP’s eleven songs, only three are re-arranged on ‘Everybody Hertz’. Out of ten tracks, there is one new song, two fresh interpretations of ‘People In The City’, and couple of takes on ‘How Does It Make You Feel?’. Oh, and five versions of ‘Don’t Be Light’.
All of which means that, as far as remix projects go, this one is a something of an oddity. Why so many versions of one song? Why include seemingly pointless edits of tracks that are otherwise identical to the originals? And why bother putting out substandard new material? ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ is an unheard off-cut from the ‘10,000 Htz Legend’ sessions. One listen and you can’t help feeling it should have remained so.
The remixes themselves vary in quality. There are occasional flashes of brilliance, most notably the Malibu version of ‘Don’t Be Light’ and Modjo’s samba-style overhaul of ‘People In The City’. Adrian Sherwood’s dub mix of ‘How Does It Make You Feel?’ is also terrific.
But then, with The Neptunes on auto-pilot doing ‘Don’t Be Light’ and Mr Oizo’s lazy re-working of - you guessed it - ‘Don’t Be Light’, this collection is ultimately flawed by too many pointless versions of too few songs.
Sure, it’s often difficult to improve on original tracks from a magnificent album, but devotees of ‘10,000 Htz Legend’ will inevitably be left thinking about what could have been. The choice of songs is especially strange when there are far more interesting ones available to explore. Imagine what ‘Wonder Milky Bitch’, ‘Caramel Prisoner’ or ‘Sex Born Poison’ might have sounded like if stripped down and adventurously reconstructed.
Remix albums need not be as half-hearted as this. Bjork’s ‘Telegram’, for instance, was an astonishing record in its own right, on which the artist’s material underwent such a remarkable transformation that, at times, it was completely unrecognisable from the original. It put a different spin on Bjork’s music. It added something.
Sadly, ‘Everybody Hertz’ misses the opportunity to do the same for the work of Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin. It’s a shame. With a bit more thought, the music inside this album could have been as inspirational as the title on the cover.
4Jonathan Rawcliffe's Score