"Playground Dropouts Retake" follows on and is given a new set of clothes - now I was very fond of the original version of the song, with its strange Lemon Jelly/Psychedelic daydream feeling. Much like the original it is a sub three-minute tune, it still has that strange mixture of sounds and quirks going on which feel like a dream slightly out of context; it has a new noise in the mix and the drums have a different feeling to them. It does all of this and work really well, then the goes all haunted with voices swirling in the wind as a guitar accompanies the people like a new age Pied Piper take you away from your village to the new home. Much like the other mixes, I love the way that it still has the familiar and is at the same time new; I will be honest I say I prefer the way the original feels, but I do love the way this version ends. "24" is the next song to get a fresh coat of paint with "The Glass Children Remix" which came from Daniella Kleovoulou & David Fairweather; this was my favourite song on the original album and a track which made our recent best songs of 2015 list, this remix is just as beautiful but in a different way. Whilst the original had that dream-pop quality which comes from the band, this one digs within a different vein of the song and pulls out the trance element to the song that were always there in the song and adds a few beats to the tune. It is the best of the remixes on this record, hands down one of those moments where something that was already great is further elevated; well played Ms Kleovoulou & Mr Fairweather, well played. "Head Cleaner" is a strange little number, sounding like a counterpart to some of the bizarre moments from NIN 'Ghost: I-IV' meets "Widowlicker" era Aphex Twin, it is both relaxing and on edge at the same time. It is over in under two minutes, so it does not give all too much away and could have been expanded. However, it is still interesting, just a little short. "Chorus Retake" is next, with a happier edge to the music on this take compared to the original. It makes me smile when I try to focus on both this version and the original - they both have merit and they are both have a fair level of reflection to the music. This one takes me back to the 80's in some ways and that is something I am not sure was the intention of the band; but the result is still one that is making me grin from ear to ear on the Winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere.
As we start the last third of this disc, "The Ocean Kill" is remixed by Jan Hertz and the bass is the focus here from the beginning. It is not immediate, but it is the power behind this version of the song; as is the ability of the remixer to add this back together very slowly. It is very minimal in its approach here and has shades of the remix of "You've Got the Love" by Candi Staton by The Source, but with the very high energy end removed and placed to the side. Again I am not finding anything here that I do not like yet it is not to my tastes in a way, but I still enjoy the new angle of the song. "Divine" is the last new track of the album, starting with the acoustic guitar looping around in a slow fashion that suggests a reflective edge to the number, a gentle drum beat joins in with the guitar as the song discusses the void, being old enough to know what you are doing and you are having to leave on a journey which you have once took but will take you much longer to get to your destination. There are keyboards on this gentle number that accompany the rest of the instruments beautifully and it is a beautiful song, seriously I would love to hear a full album of this type of number by Moonbabies as it compliments their dream pop style so well; another gem which I has me under its spell from the start. The penultimate song to be remixed on this album is "Bird Laid Frue" and the remix is called "Orange Crate Art Mix" and was created by Toby Bernsand, it takes the original idea of the song and embellishes it with an extension and more sounds which a mixture of Mercury Rev, Groove Armada (especially the song "At The River") and those strange moments between being awake and asleep (to paraphrase the song "Hercules" by Mercury Rev) when all is one and all is dream. It is another remix that is coming to you as if it was created in another place and you are only receiving glimpse of it, it is also another mix which does not improve on the original for me; but once again it is not a bad version by any means, but at seven minutes it could have lost a minute to be honest. Ending the album is a remix of "Eli in the Woods" called "Cantaloupe Remix" by John Christopher Simson; now the original hit the ground running from the beginning and it had a positive energy from the beginning, this mix takes the song and gives it a gentler introduction. Everything is there, but it is slowed down and very mellow as if you are swimming in a lake in the middle of the forest; then just after the first minute and a half you can hear things being added and the pace quickens and the chase is on for this song. It feels as if you are breaking out of a dream when it all kicks in and there is a joyful moment to it that I can get lost in. It extends the songs in ways that I had hoped for as I did find the original a little short and makes this man smile as if the sun was shining at midnight, as the music fades and the drums drift to the background I cannot this of a more fitting end to this album.
As a musical coda to one of my favourite albums of 2015, I really enjoyed this and found a lot of the remixes and reinterpretation to be really well crafted and beautiful. Even the mixes that were not to my tastes where at the very least of interest and did not detract from the song. The new songs on the album were the highlights of this disc for me though, if they were recorded at the same time I can see why they were left of the album, but they were all brilliant in their own right (especially "Leaving Shadows"). I am hoping I can still afford the vinyl version of this album as it is so beautiful, this deluxe version is also a great edition as well.
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track - Leaving Shadows
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