Saturday, April 30, 2011

master of puppets

When Depeche Mode announced they were going to release another album featuring remixes and reworkings of tracks from across their substantial catalog, I must admit that I could barely muster up an indifferent yawn.

However, after listening to some of the selections from "Remixes 2: 81-11", it's clear there is a lot of life in the electro goth gods.

Norwegian electronic duo, Röyksopp, have turned in a gorgeously understated reswizzling of "Puppets", a track buried within DM's debut longplayer, "Speak & Spell". A youthful and nearly unrecognizable vocal from Dave Gahan is laid over a shimmering and beautiful crafted, handclappy rhythm track. Dozens of tasty synth lines keep the mix interesting throughout. This should be the sound of summer 2011.

Also, the nearly epic, Eric Prydz remix of "Never Let Me Down Again" is sure to go down a storm at your local discotheque. Based around the song's familiar guitar figure, the track is just itching to break into the full song. I'm not a fan of dubs, but this one ranks highly in my book.

That said, I'm not sure why they decided to release a new slate of remixes for their iconic track, "Personal Jesus", as the first single from the project. "Puppets" would have made a more interesting choice.

"Remixes 2: 81-11" will be released on June 6 in the usual fan friendly, wallet draining set of configurations including a single disc version, a triple CD edition and massive, six vinyl LP box set.


  1. At least these post-mod remixes are still musical. That's encouraging. I remember about 10-15 years ago this sort of thing was just ghastly and unlistenable [see poor OMD as "remixed" - more like "butchered" by Micronauts]. The new mix of "Puppets" is rather nice, it's true, but I'm past the point of wanting even more remixes of Depeche Mode. I'll let the youth enjoy them for their first time.

    Of all of the groups that engage in this remix activity, the one that I'll give a pass to are ZTT/FGTH. It's kind of appropriate that "Relax" and "Two Tribes" get resurrected via remixes [generally listenable, too] every few years for new ears. After all, the original records were the height of synthetic productions in their time. They have no authenticity to lose. Their thematic concerns [sex and war] will never go out of fashion.

  2. Thanks for posting this Vinny. I absolutely adore the remix of Puppets and I am not a big Depeche fan.

    I too sometimes think putting out remixes is lazy and exploitative of true fans who have seen it all before.

  3. The collection is not that bad (and I'm a huge Depeche Mode fan) - some reworkings are really good. Shame that some exclusives are only available via on-line stores though (or on a exclusive limited US 12").
    It does now release DM from EMI, so all future options are open...

    Hope is all is okay with you Vinny.. seems a bit quite since 5 June.