It’s rather superior-sounding at times, but I found this article from the Guardian very amusing and informative.
Compilation: 'electronicagainsbourg' (CD; Pagan; 2001)
I was happy to find this disc used. It seemed like a nice counterpart to 'Morricone RMX'. Serge's recordings sit alongside those of Ennio Morricone in my collection, so it seemed appropriate to have this as well. However, after the first listen, I feel disappointed.
- Howie B's remix of 'Ballade de Melody Nelson' opens very promisingly, with catchy strings, that very familiar picked acoustic guitar phrase, and a crisp beat.... Howie drops in occasional vocal and string samples. However, let's face it, the track is not interesting enough to justify it's seven minute length. The sound is very pleasant, but 150 seconds would have done me.
- Faze Action with 'La-bas c'est naturel'. I don't know the original track. This remix is quite fun, opening with some tropical forest sounds, and morphing into a pleasant disco track with some funny electronic effects. Again, it seems very long to me at 6:15, and at this point I'm starting to think I could have bought a CD that is patently not for me.
- Krickor & W.A.R.R.I.O's version of 'Love on the beat', one of Serge's 80s outings is more interesting, perhaps because the original was also electronic. It has a fat, squidgy bassline and sounds like a messed up old school hip hop record.
- I had some apprehension when I put on Herbert's 'Bonnie & Clyde' - it's one of my favorite 60s Serge Recordings, and the remix is very long 7:30. It opens pretty well though, removing all musical backing, and just presenting Serge and Brigitte's voices over a stripped down electronic backing. It's not exactly to my taste, but comes across as less lazy than Howie B's effort.
- Dax Riders 'No comment' is quite fun. Again, it sounds better to me because it seems to have a nice authentic 80s sound going on.
- Demon Ritchie's 'Sea, sex & sun' remix recreates the song by stripping away the old backing track and adding a new (rather cheesy and Kenny G-esque) musical background to the vocal line. After a minute or so, this turns into a mid-90s style dance track. It's perfectly pleasant, but I don't really see the point.
- Chateau Flight's 'Lola Rastaquouere' does similarly little for me.
- Readymade's 'Aeroplanes' is one of the more interesting numbers. It's still very dancefloor oriented, but has a lot of variation in sound, making it much more attractive to me.
- Bob Sinclar's Marabout sounds pretty much as you might expect - a huge, relentless, silghtly ethnic sounding beat is in place through the entire track, while samples are dropped in, and occasionally the beat is pumped up further. The sound is incredibly 'pure', but that doesn't really make me want to listen to it. I actually own a couple of Bob's albums, but they only come out around once a year.
- OGM's 'Five easy pisseuses' is ultra-smooth, with some backing vocals that frankly appall me. The overall mood is actually quite cool though, with a nice Pet Shop Boys feel. I think I could actually come to like this.
- The idea of the Orb doing 'requiem pour un con' interested me. However, the actual track is underwhelming. To me, there's nothing about it that is either offensive or interesting.
- Stratus take on 'L'hotel particulier', the original being one of my favorite tracks on 'melody nelson'. Happily, they add some interesting musical content to the track alongside the nice beats. This was lacking in most of the other tracks on this compilation. One interesting touch is the switch from minor to major of the final chord of the chorus (the one where he sings 'Melody' in the line 'Lentement j'enlace Melody'). This by some distance the best track on this CD.
- Dzihan & Kamien's Je t'aime... moi, non plus is a strange track. The remixers take a heavy bossa nova beat (like that used by Nicola Conte on many of his tracks), and add a dirgey, slightly depressing synthesized chord sequence, over and under which the vocal tracks are placed. Right now I can't imagine ever wanting to listen to this, but it's nevertheless an interesting experiment.
- The final track is Snooze's 'New York - USA'. I quite like the sound of this track, but the vocal tracks seem to have been overlaid in a slightly random fashion. The overall sound is so depressing that this sounds totally as if it could have been written in tribute to the events of September 11th 2001. The lyrics about having never seen anything so high add to this effect. I wonder if this has ever been used anywhere in tribute.
Anyway... I'm sorry to come down on this one so negatively, but it doesn't do it for me at all. Even though I didn't massively *like* many of the tracks on 'Morricone RMX', I had more respect for them then most of the things on offer here. Many of the remixes seem very lazy and insubstantial to me. Track 12, Stratus's 'L'hotel particulier' is the only real winner for me. I guess the root of my problem with the remixes here is that they focus in on Serge the personality - most often sampling only the vocal tracks, and then instead putting in inferior or barren musical backings. More remixes which played with Serge's arrangements, textures and musical phrases would have made this far more interesting to me.