(R)evolution: The Remixes

Published on Pumped Audio 04/03/2013:

Paul Van Dyk - (R)evolution: The Remixes

Did you know that Paul Van Dyk was nominated in the 2005 Grammys for Best Dance/Electronic Album? He was also voted as the world’s No.1 DJ Mag’s Top 100 twice (2005 & 2006). Paul Van Dyk’s ‘Evolution’ album stayed on the Germany Albums Top 50 at number 22 for the whole week. Following the release of ‘Evolution’, is an album called ‘(R)Evolution: The Remixes’, containing 17 remixes of tracks from the original album.

Without further ado, this review starts from the remixes of ‘I Don’t Deserve You’ (feat. Plumb). It’s odd to see that Giuseppe Ottaviani’s remix of ‘I Don’t Deserve You’ isn’t included in ‘(R)evolution: The Remixes’. That remix was no.5 on the Trackitdown Top 100 Trance Tracks Chart on the 27th of February, 2013. Anyway, John O’Callaghan’s remix pumps up the tempo and presents a whispering, windy effect. The drumming and hi-hat has a quality of fizzy dryness to it, which goes well with the poppy, plump kick. Gabriel Ben’s remix gives the track a Latino vibe. The vocals are chopped up to a mere “A D-oh D-oh D-oh De-serve”. However, this remix sacrifices the emotional value carried by the original track. WAWA’s remix chops up the melody and the chords instead, making the track more bouncy and swift in motion. Towards the middle, it goes into a brief Dubstep style, before introducing joyous beeps. Sadly, those beeps are overused in the Trance world.

‘The Sun After Heartbreak’ (feat. Sue McLaren & Arty) has an original mix which fits in the Drum ‘N’ Bass genre. Having Trance remixes has its merits, even if it’s not a surprise. Gradual introductions of different elements in Woody Van Eyden’s Full Vocal Version helps the track to build up in a most smooth and unexpected manner. When the melody of the original gets introduced officially, it stops the heart from beating momentarily so the soul can fly. This remix has multiple build-ups, because it thrills by shaking things up in creative and different ways throughout. Nick Callaghan & Will Atkinson’s remix has colourful synths, and a kick that hits with a bang. One of the most surprising elements of this track is the “whomp” bass. On the other hand, Pedro Del Mar & Double V’s remix has a hard, grinding feedback. The introduction is noticeably shorter. It doesn’t take long for the vocals to come in, but it gets left in silence for too long. The melody sounds bland with its effects, and the track lacks innovation.

The original ‘Such A Feeling’ has R&B vocals which don’t go well with the snappiness of Trance. The radio edit of ‘Such A Feeling’ has a more slow and seductive tone. Yet, it doesn’t sound like something silky, or something people could jump to either. However, not all hope is lost, for Alex M.O.R.P.H.’s remix manages to improve things by miles. The remix doesn’t veer too far into the hoppy side with its dark sound, but it could tempt people to use some whips and cuffs on the dance floor. It builds up very passionately for a short moment, before getting straight to the point. It provides listeners a short yet satisfying romp, which is a different yet effective experience. Call it a quickie! It would be interesting to see how the track would sound if it went into passion mode, yet the brevity of it doesn’t make the remix rotten at all.

There are some other fresh improvisations which deserve applause. Maarten De Jong’s remix of ‘Symmetries’ (ft. Austin Leeds) plays with contrasting themes. The remix begins with a more suppressed, morbid sound, before moving into the more hopeful melody of the original. Then, not long after, it goes into an intense, buzz-like ringing, shoots into a silent whisper, and back into the ray of light. The two different build-up points carry the same dark and light theme. Chriss Ortega’s remix of ‘We Come Together’ (feat. Sue McLaren) gives an intriguing twist to the original with its sizzles and purrs. The vocals are clear and crisp, accompanied by an optimistic drive to build the sound up. Overall, the remix has a very positive take on the vow of union. Kyau & Albert’s remix of ‘Open My Eyes’ is different to the wispy, meditative loop of the original. This is because it has a poppy sound which echoes in a space defined on its own, expanding and contracting on demand. The bass uses an octave to follow-up with the breathing, before a little marble rolls in for a crackle. It really is an eye-opener!

Brave DJs try to take on the challenge of creating different experiences with their remixes, and the risky take pays off to an extent, but not completely. Niels Von Ahorn takes out the saxophone to place more spot twinkles in his remix of ‘If You Want My Love’ (ft. Caligola), but it needs a lot more sparks to produce that feeling of enchantment in the original track. Steve Wish has a remix of ‘All The Way’ (feat. Tyler Michaud & Fisher) in the album, and treats the vocals slightly differently. The introduction vocals are cut short to “ah, ah”, and the parts where lyrics can be heard are far less digitised than the original, which is a desirable change. However, this remix takes a great portion of the mysterious vibe out of the original for more emphasised beats, which is a shame. Exense takes up the enormous challenge of remixing the wonderful ‘Rock This’. There is a little hiccup in the beginning where the main melody is introduced far too early on in the mix, albeit briefly in the background. For listeners who have heard the original mix, this might throw them off. Although this track condenses into a deep whoopee bass which goes well with the grabby kick, it gets silenced with a melody that stands out too much.

Some remixes either almost get it, or don’t have it. It’s not necessarily because of faults in the original, but sometimes, it may be. ‘Lost In Berlin’ (feat. Michelle Leonard) isn’t a special track, and Giuseppe Ottaviani’s remix doesn’t really improve or enhance anything. The sounds of the beats and vocals are more digitised, but the digitisation makes the whole track sound flatter. Robert Mint delivers a lighter version of ‘A Wonderful Day’ (feat. Giuseppe Ottaviani). It would be great if louder portions of the track were modified to sound more pleasant than the original, but aside from those prickly areas, this greatly tones down the flatness of the original by providing some much needed variation in volume. More work is needed for both the original and the remix to sound better, but these ‘A Wonderful Day’ tracks still have great potential.

‘(R)evolution: The Remixes’ is entertaining, and it’s not just because of the famous Paul Van Dyk. ‘Evolution’ provided the opportunity for ‘(R)evolution: The Remixes’, where artists could showcase their style. There are definitely some noteworthy talents in this album, and it is very educational and interesting. However, whether or not the whole album is worth the purchase, can be a debatable matter.


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