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Architecture in Helsinki - We Died, They Remixed (Cover Artwork)

Architecture in Helsinki

Architecture in Helsinki: We Died, They RemixedWe Died, They Remixed (2006)
Bar/None

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When I found out that Australia's Architecture in Helsinki was done tracking their new album, Places Like This, I busted out an email to Bar/None to try and put a word in and eventually get a promo copy to review. I loved 2005's In Case We Die so much it made #6 on my top 20 of the year. It was just.
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When I found out that Australia's Architecture in Helsinki was done tracking their new album, Places Like This, I busted out an email to Bar/None to try and put a word in and eventually get a promo copy to review. I loved 2005's In Case We Die so much it made #6 on my top 20 of the year. It was just so much fun, with crazy amounts of different instruments and an incredibly upbeat feel and childish giddy vocals. The label didn't have anything from the new album to give me yet, so they sent this instead. Though remixes aren't of the greatest interest to me, with how much I love the source material I thought it could be a fun ride as well. With everything they jam into one song, it would give remix artists quite a lot to mess around with. So what happens when you take the music of eight way-too-peppy humans and man-handle it with cold robotic surgical arms?

Just in case the title didn't give it away, We Died, They Remixed focuses on In Case We Die, with just one random track from their debut Fingers Crossed thrown in. The remix is in different order and kicks off with one of the original's best tracks, "Do the Whirlwind." The Safety Scissors' take on it sounds a little odd because he ups the tempo slightly and the groove suddenly seems forced, and he takes out a key component of the original: the sweet bassy synth line. He doesn't leave much of the layers of percussion in either, though he does play up the ‚??whiffing' wind sound at the end. Luckily, this is the one track that gets two versions, and the Hot Chip version is more successful. They go nuts with the bass synth, changing up its rhythms and ornamenting it, and they leave in the cool sax harmonies to groove out the end of the track.

"It'5!," an already dancey song, gets good treatment from 33hz who somehow successfully doubles the ecstatic human shouts of the title with a robotic harmony (vocoder perhaps). The cheery and silly original is given a cool and cold makeover that ends up as one of my favorite remixes here. The title track is done up by DJ Mehdi, who focuses on the first part of the original, and though he relies a little much on drum breaks that have little to do with the actual song, it does something that is rare in dance music and remixes: He creates an odd meter by looping the synth part in such a way that it trips up the beat, and the end result is pretty cool. "Need to Shout" is the one track here that features new lyrics, with Mocky layin' down a lazy rapped verse over the slow groove and the flute and steel drums of the original. Somehow it works.

Unfortunately one of my most-loved tracks from the original, "Wishbone," gets slapped around by Franc Tetaz who replaces a lot of the infectious female lead vocals with something that sounds like that old SimpleText program that would speak what you typed. Another miss is "Maybe You Can Owe Me" which takes way too many liberties and actually makes the track less danceable by stripping the hihat beat at the intro and replacing it with Animal Collective-style acoustic guitars; later it has some faux-Indian quarter-tone melody goin' on that just doesn't make me wanna shake my ass. Also, the two last tracks here seem unnecessary. "Rendezvous: Potrero Hill" was basically a musical interlude, but Isan manages to turn the shortest original track into the longest (6:28) track here. "Like a Call" from Fingers Crossed is sufficiently funk-ified, but it has already been released on an EP, so why break the theme with it here?

Obviously this is for huge Architecture fans only, and while I'd include myself in that bunch, this still makes me want to just pop in the original album. There are some interesting things goin' on here and the source material gives remixers a lot more to go on than some others that come to mind (DFA1979), but really this experience has just whet my appetite for the new album. Bring it!

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
greg0rb (April 22, 2007)

Well fine then, be that way. There was a pretty small pressing of this, I think.
-Greg

benz (April 22, 2007)

No.

greg0rb (April 21, 2007)

I wrote this before that Polyvinyl signing news came...guess I'm gonna have to start contacting them now about the new album. Polyvinyl seems like a good fit. Now anyone that's actually heard this wanna comment?
-Greg

Anonymous (April 21, 2007)

For one, learn how to spell Ian MacKaye's name. For two, neither of those two figures' works for the last twenty-odd years have had that much to do with punk. At least not enough to validate your statement.

I don't necessiarly agree with the original poster, but to say Ian "for the last twenty-odd years" hasn't had much to do with punk rock is pretty dumb. The Evens are more "punk" than about 99% of the bands that show up on this site, and he has been a regular mouthpiece for the community throughout the years.

youwinalemon (April 21, 2007)

Architecture In Helsinki rules.

Remix albums do not.

benz (April 21, 2007)

I was just joking.

-benz

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

""Absolutely nothing punk about this from what I can tell."

This album features both Ian Mackay and Henry Rollins. So chew on that!"

For one, learn how to spell Ian MacKaye's name. For two, neither of those two figures' works for the last twenty-odd years have had that much to do with punk. At least not enough to validate your statement.

-Will

elephantdwarf (April 20, 2007)

just by saying "punkers and punkettes" you've made me believe your short story, that no one cares about, is going to be bad without even reading it.

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

Hey,

I'm working on a short story that involves the war-torn city of Beirut as seen by an American woman. It's for a creative writing class. I've included a small portion of it below. Can you punkers and punkettes give me your unbiased opinion on the quality of my writing? Do you find my descriptions evocative, my sentences tight? Thanks!

***Liz Weeden***

"About an hour later something wakes her. She comes out on the balcony again, telling herself to be alert. It is nearly four a.m. and she has a sense of some heavy presence, a grinding in the earth. She leans over the rail and sees a tank come chugging around the corner in the cratered street. Mounted cannon bobbing. She feels the beat of adrenaline but stays where she is and waits. She thinks it‚??s an old Soviet T-34, some scarred and cruddy ancient, sold and stolen two dozen times, changing sides and systems and religion. The only markings are graffiti, many years of spritzed paint. The tank moves up the street and she hears voices, sees people walking behind it. Civilians talking and laughing and well-dressed, twenty adults and half as many children, mostly girls in pretty dresses and white knee-stocking and patent-leather shoes. And here is the stunning thing that takes her a moment to understand, that this is a wedding party going by. The bride and groom carry champagne glasses and some of the girls hold sparklers that send off showers of excited light. A guest in a pastel tuxedo smokes a long cigar and does a dance around a shell hole, delighting the kids. The bride‚??s gown is beautiful, with lacy appliqu√© at the bodice, and she looks surpassingly alive, they all look transcendent, free of limits and unsurprised to be here. They make it seem only natural that a wedding might advance its resplendence with a free-lance tank as escort. Sparklers going. Other children holding roses tissued in fern. Brita is gripping the rail. She wants to dance or laugh or jump off the balcony. It seems completely possible that she will land softly among them and walk along in her pajama shirt and panties all the way to heaven. The tank is passing right below her, turret covered in crude drawings, and she hurries inside and pours another glass of melon liqueur and comes out to toast the newlyweds, calling down, ‚??Bonne chance‚?Ě and ‚??Bonheur‚?Ě and ‚??Good luck‚?Ě and ‚??Salam‚?Ě and ‚??Skal,‚?Ě and the gun turret begins to rotate and the cannon eases slowly around like a smutty honeymoon joke and everyone is laughing. The bridegroom raises his glass to the half-dressed foreigner on the top-floor balcony and then they pass into the night, followed by a jeep with a recoilless rifle mounted at the rear.
It is over too soon. She stays outside, listening to the last small rustle of their voices falling. It is stil dark and she feels a chill in the smoky hair. The city is quiet for the first time since she arrived. She examines the silence. She looks out past the rooftops, westward. There is a flash out there in the dark near a major checkpoint. Then another in the same spot, several more, intense and white. She waits for the reciprocating flash, the return fire,/but all the bursts are in one spot and there is no sound. What could it be then if it‚??s not the start of the day‚??s first exchange of automatic-weapons fire? Only one thing of course. Someone is out there with a camera and a flash unit. Brita stays on the balcony for another minute, watching the magnesium pulse that brings an image to a strip of film. She crosses her arms over her body against the chill and counts off bursts of relentless light. The dead city photographed one more time."

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

Enough with these fucking remix albums already

benz (April 20, 2007)

"Absolutely nothing punk about this from what I can tell."

This album features both Ian Mackay and Henry Rollins. So chew on that!

-benz

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

they would be much better if they were actually from Finland

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

Absolutely nothing punk about this from what I can tell.

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