Wednesday 29 March 2017

Review: Bestial Mouths – '(Still) Heartless'

'(Still) Heartless'

Bestial Mouths' 2016 album 'Heartless' was undoubtedly one of the highlight releases of the year. Their sonic formula of avant garde electronica combined with sinister industrial dance machinations balances appealing elements from genres such as cold wave, darkwave and industrial, with a sense of freedom of form and fluidity that is incredibly satisfying. It is no surprise that a remix companion for the album has been released and sees some top names lend their skills to reinterpret the originals.

Names such as Ludovico Technique, Danny Saber, CX Kidtronix, and Die Krupps drag the original tracks across numerous styles and genres transforming them into solid dance offerings, as well as deeper and more complex amplifications. Alongside the ten remixes are two brand new tracks. 'Witchdance' evokes the spirit of Diamanda Galas and Nick Cave as Lynette Cerezo vocally exorcises a demon over a sinister minimal ambient track. While 'High Walls' sounds like Siouxsie Sioux narrating her own nightmares along to storm noises and a steady tribal beat. The songs may not be in keeping with the previous material on 'Heartless', but they are a wonderful example of the band's unrestrained experimentalism and juxtaposed against the dancier remixes provide a nice counterpoint in the form of an extreme 180° flip.

As with any remix album, the quality of the inclusions are somewhat objective, however it is undeniable that with talents such as Ludovico Technique, Danny Saber, CX Kidtronix, The Horrorist, Zanias, Shredder, and Die Krupps there will be something for everyone. But Ludovico Technique's reworking of 'Worn Skin', the band's own new version of 'Down To The Bone (No Longer See mix)', Zanias' take on 'Heartless', Die Krupps' mix of 'Worn Skin', and Danny Saber's version of 'Greyed' are all fantastic reasons to grab this release.

'(Still) Heartless' does what great remix albums should do, and that's to deconstruct the originals, present a range of styles, and where possible experiment. The remix album these days may be the standard thing for a band to do, especially after a particularly hot album, yet they're sadly so often an afterthought. But here it has been carefully curated and constructed in a way that makes you want to dive in deeper and raise questions about the next album's direction.  

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