Label: Moshi Moshi Release date: 05/07/10 Link: Myspace Usually an album should be judged on its own merits. In the case of a remix album, especially one that re-imagines such a brilliant work as Au Revoir Simone’s Still Night Still Light, things are a little more complicated. The songs have to complement the originals somehow, offer something unique, and ultimately have to stand up to the question ‘Would I rather listen to the original?’. In the case of Night Light, some seriously big names in their own right do an excellent job of paying homage whilst combining to make an album that easily stands tall next to its progenitor. Neon Indian kicks things off with his remix of ‘Another Likely Story’, very much in his own style. Vaguely oriental synth flourishes and trills and a heavier beat underpin the original vocal line to great effect. In contrast, Jens Lakeman’s refit of ‘Shadows’ is largely more atmospheric and certainly opens with a longer build up than the original. The track is full of personality; the little touches such as the orchestral swells reminiscent of a 50s romance denouement, and the gallic accordion, really flesh it out. As mentioned before there are some big names contributing remixes on this, yet the slightly lesser known ones are equally good, with a few exceptions. Mack Winston’s dub mix of ‘The Last One’ does seem to drain the original of its minimalist, down tempo charm unfortunately, and Deradoorian’s version of 'Only You Can Make me Happy’ (one of the best tracks from Still Night Still Light) doesn’t quite live up to the excellent companion piece it should be. This is down to the central motif not capitalized on and the extended outro petering out ineffectually. Night Light is at its best though when it has the guts to take some real liberties with the source material. The Bass Clef remix of ‘Organised Scenery’ adds a wobbly synth bass and cuts up the vocals plenty but still allows the gorgeous refrain of ‘see how we watch the world go by when we wonder’ space to breath, muting all instrumentation for a few bars as if to say ‘remember how lovely this track is?’ before plunging the listener back into his own version. The whole thing is pulled off admirably, and is surprisingly coherent considering none of the contributors, presumably, collaborated or conferred in the production process. The majority of remixes shine new light on the tracks, enhancing my appreciation of them whilst being sweet tunes in their own right. So long as you’re not a die-hard ARS purist and the idea of their lush, achingly sweet harmonies being transmuted into electro beats and choppy vocals sickens you to the stomach, then this is a brilliant kind of by Au Revoir Simone record. Photobucket