Thursday 8 May 2014

Review: Front Line Assembly - 'Echoes'


Legendary Canadian electronic act Front Line Assembly hit hard with their previous outing 'Echogenetic' The renowned veterans formed by Bill Leeb, sounded as fresh and energised as they reconstructed their classic signature sound in a more contemporary manner. The end result was a great dance-friendly record that recaptured the energy of the band's most prolific output.

Fast forward a year and we get the inevitable remix collection. Many people will undoubtedly be rolling their eyes at what are essentially albums for DJs, but considering the quality of the album that is the source material for 'Echoes' it's worth approaching with an open mind.

Your reward is a collection of great re-workings of the originals that don't simply resort to trying to create more dance friendly versions of what were already dance friendly songs. With the likes of Youth Code, Blush Response, Comaduster and Haujobb taking on remix duties, you're pretty much guaranteed the album is worth the money.

Indeed the opener 'Contagion', 'Next War', Sonic Mayhem's stuttering take on 'Leveled', Comaduster's huge dubstep infused mix of 'Ghosts', Youth Code's retro version of 'Echogenetic', Blush responses dark and demented re-work of 'Echogenetic', as well as Haujobb's stripped-back mix of 'Blood' all work with and compliment the elements of Front Line Assembly's sound. Taking an one aspect of it and amping it up.

The songs aren’t huge departures from the originals. Instead even though this is a diverse collection of songs, they are all still recognisably FLA due to the fact that over their history they have assimilated so many different styles into their matrix and in turn influenced subsequent generations of artists that you have to go a long way to do something so radical that you disguise the artist in any way.

As far as remix albums go, this is a pretty solid offering. Fans of the band will definitely want it, and it should extend the band's club presence for a while longer. However, it's not a stand out offering in their back catalogue, especially when compared to 'Echogenetic'.  

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