Keith: Hold That Gun EP - The Remixes
You may have heard the original: Zane Lowe/NME/TuneTribe/Clare Sturgess/John Kennedy, and even Radio 2’s Janice Long, have made it clear that they have…And now here’s the remixes! That’s the usual strap-line when it comes to hearing guitar bands have a fumble in the ‘dance music’ jungle. With Keith it’s different, of course! Keith’s bass master, John Waddington, has long been a DJ who knows how to sort any “Bug [s] In The Bassbin” & still flaunts his dextrously technical technoid tendencies at Manchester’s “Big Hands”, a venue surprisingly popular with Manchester’s musical community, and which has seen limos pull up outside for trans-Atlantic A&R men attempting to catch the heat on the street.
Although not featured on this release, the band themselves have remixed “Faces” into crisp dubbed out pop odyssey which will be featured on the CD for The TDK Cross Central Festival where they appear on the bill (Saturday Aug 27th) with club stalwarts such as Jeff Mills, Francois Kervorkian & Grace Jones, and alongside other groove inflected acts such as Tom Vek & Jamie Lidell. Alongside their recent tag-team DJ efforts we can see clearly that for Keith their music spectrum extends way beyond current cool & classic indie icons. If you come to Keith’s house prepare for a collision of music with Krautrock, Jazz, Afrobeat, Deep House, Soul, Indie & Psychedelia on the stereos, and always as if in-the-mix at a rave.
On to the remixes themselves…well, just as with the original ep release, there’s a cool range of quality interpretations.
Hold That Gun – ‘Simian Mobile Disco Mix’ by James Ford
This was James Ford’s first remix. The original tempo of the track was 160bpm, so too slow for drum n bass and too fast for house. James has managed to slow the vocals down adding a clarity and sheen to the mix without losing the energy or attitude of the original. It was important to maintain this attitude rather than just fit a beat to the tune.
Initially James thought his industrial drums and freestyle editing of the track was too much, “I’ve over-Aphexed the tune,” he said, but we disagreed. There’s a great spontaneity in this mix and James has retained the deep atmospheric of the tune Eno style, whilst adding a ruthless groove that makes ‘Windowlicker’ appear easy. The sound effects feel like they’d give George Lucas a run for his money in a face-off with Darth Vader, the Sith Lord or any of those space-age despots.
Bled a Rose – ‘Herbert Mix’ by Matthew Herbert
When Lucky Number first met the band they told us how much they liked the breadth of Matthew Herbert’s productions. His classic ‘The Audience’ has been featured in the band’s live set on a number of occasions and always gets well received in Manchester, where the tune is a Unabombers‘ Electric Chair classic.If we were going to put out the band’s first record we had to make the effort to get Matthew on board and in the mix. The subtle textures and beauty of the track provided great ammunition for his lush yet experimental remix. Matthew makes maximum use of the lesser-used thumb piano and uses a vast array of sounds and effects to create a different but fitting sound for the band.
Come on Gilles Peterson, this is the kind of ‘Soul’ music you want from a guitar based band, isn’t it?
Mona Lisa’s Child- ‘Simian Mobile Disco Mix’ by James Ford
James’ second mix gave him the opportunity to wig-out acid stylee using the key piano motif of the original in a more upfront Chicago style. This isn’t just acid house revivalism though; James has used influences from different era and genres to create a new electronic mix of his own to stunning effect. We’ve got the original’s live bass, P-Funk synths & beefy ’80’s drums battling it out on the dance-floor, all in the space of 5 minutes!
Faces – ‘Music Concrete Remix’ by Sound Architecture
Sound Architecture did a great mix on Spektrum’s ‘Lychee Juice’ earlier this year – deep, sexy house music full of analogue sounds that felt more like Funk than machine music. Here their engineer, Jim Whelan, adds a rich warm treatment to Oli’s vocal whilst keeping the groove sparse and simple with enough wah-wah to get the hips wiggling!
All in all, we think you’d be hard pushed to find a more exciting electronic package all year and that’s the beauty of Keith – on top of their game whether it’s their own work or other artist’s interpretations!