Label: Anticon Release date: 21/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon Remix albums are by their nature, inherently fraught. In the event they’re successful, one can cite the collaborative effort between band and remix DJ as something approaching a meeting of minds, subversion or a coercion of the original’s material into the remixer’s aesthetic. Should the remix album flop, invariably it’s the band that get the blame, having commissioned, edited, sequenced the LP. Themselves dodge this argument by opening CrownsDown & Company, their second remix album, with the self-mixed ‘Back II Burn‘- an intensely rhythmic number featuring distorted vocals and in-vogue glitchy synth stabs which replace the original’s orchestral hits. Besides the creative angle of remixing your own work, it is an astute move to open the record this way- but one that seemingly sets the stage for open floodgates of remixes. The remixes are sourced entirely from the 2009 album CrownsDown: CrownsDown & Company seeks to take Themselves’ avant-garde material and repackage it for dance floors and warehouse parties worldwide. So where paranoid multitracking and disorientation were calling cards of the original material, here the effect is unmistakable. Similarly avant-enamoured hip hop artists Dalek take on ‘Oversleeping‘, producing a relentless scattershot sound- a style which is repeated across the record. ‘Gangster Of Disbelief’ is assimilated by Alias to more melodic effect, but again the drumbeats are huge. A feeling of taught pressure exudes from the record, the notion that playing it at home just doesn’t do the material justice: this are remixes with one context in mind. It’s fair to say the album gets more melodic as it unfurls -the more straightforward melody of ‘You Ain’t It (Lazer Sword remix)’ could almost be the hook to a pop song, but for the playful insistence on glitch and arpeggiated synth chords. There’s a consistent sound throughout though, despite the many producers and remix artists on board. That’s to the record’s credit, that at no moment does the sound feel out of place or too disparate. CrownsDown & Company will probably appeal more to the partisan audience than new listeners searching for an entrance point into Themselves’ canon, but it represents a fine addition to that collection, and will no doubt give fans and club-goers many moments of happiness, curiosity and dancing. Photobucket