Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ooh La La (Benny Benassi Extended Remix)

Song: Ooh La La (Benny Benassi Extended Remix)
Artist: Goldfrapp
Album: We Are Glitter

I can’t quite explain why dance music can be so huge all over the world and yet it has such a hard time getting ground here in the States. For a genre of music to be that big in so many parts of this planet you would be surprised that it has such a small fan base in America, only maintaining small audiences in large cities. (Which are no doubt partly comprised of foreigners.)

So while it was no surprise to me that “Supernature,” the third and best album from UK dance hit-makers Goldfrapp had an almost year-long delay from when it was released overseas to when it came out here, the big surprise is that the remix album, “We Are Glitter,” was simultaneously released yesterday both in Europe and here in America. “Glitter” is a complete re-work of “Supernature” from such varied stars of the remix world as the DFA, Benny Benassi, Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, T. Raumschmiere, & even the Flaming Lips. Like “Supernature,” it bounces from more upbeat club worthy re-imagines of the songs to more stripped down, ambient takes.

“Supernature” by itself is an absolute triumph within the world of electo-dance pop. There have been four chart topping singles from the record in Europe, and it was one of the best reviewed records of the year. For the most part, dance albums are usually comprised of a few good singles and then a LOT of filler, sometimes instrumentals, that really are just an excuse to have a full record of material out. Goldfrapp have never done their albums this way, and after the more trip-hop chill out vibe of their debut, 2000’s “Felt Mountain,” they refined their sound and moved in a more dance-pop direction that saw their second record, 2003’s “Black Cherry” become a huge hit overseas and the single “Strict Machine” become a colossal international hit. Here in the States the best exposure “Strict Machine” got was placement in a few popular car commercials, which, come to think of it is the only way that dance music gets any wide play here in America.

I highly recommend all three of their albums, would probably start with “Supernature” as every song is a keeper. But seek out “Strict Machine” as I am sure you will recognize it from said commercials. I haven’t had much time with “We Are Glitter” but am digging their selections of remixes as some are such departures from the “Supernature” versions it feels like a completely new album. (Not unlike Bjork’s “Post” remix album “Telegram.”) “Glitter” ends with Goldfrapp’s own remix of “Strict Machine,” a version that I have read was used on tour and a fan favorite. (And many were disappointed it never made it onto any of the “Strict Machine” singles.)

“Oh La La” was the lead single from “Supernature” (used in a Coke-a-Cola ad here, the one where the girl drinks a Coke and then cuts her hair short. ???) and Benny Benassi’s remix is a dance floor ready club attack. He kicks up the B.P.M.’s and just lets it go. Very fun. I have also been blown away by the DFA’s epic cowbell infused take on “Slide In.” Although, clocking in at just under thirteen minutes… it’s a pretty big commitment.

My only disappointment is the lack of a great mix of “Number 1,” the last and best song off of “Supernature.” The Alan Braxe & Fred Falke version, previously found on the “Number 1 EP” that was released here in the states just prior to “Supernature,” was the best of that bunch despite being just okay. The new “Mum Remix” also found on “Glitter” is short and forgettable, mostly a stripped down vocal take on the song. The original is so great maybe the prefect remix just isn’t possible.

PLEASE look into Goldfrapp if you like dance-pop at all. I’m seeing them tonight here in the city for the first time, and I will come back with a full report!


And just for fun, here is the AMAZING video for "Number 1:"

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