Audio Active

Apollo Choco Remixed

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The problem with Audio Active is usually that the grooves they concoct, while deep and rich and completely in the pocket, are often just a little bit boring. They get all the individual elements just right -- the dark, heavyweight basslines, the thick and smoky dubwise ambience, the one-drop rhythms and allusive vocal samples -- but the whole doesn't usually end up sounding like much more than the sum of its parts. The cure for bands like this, of course, is a remix album -- an opportunity for those with more vision to take those solid ingredients and whip them up into something less like a balanced meal and more like a wild party. Apollo Choco Remixed doesn't quite get there, but it goes further in that direction than the album's original version did. Producer and On-U Sound label head Adrian Sherwood is at the board for three of these mixes, including the stately and gorgeous "Coolness in My Foolishness," which prominently features a stringed instrument that sounds like, but may not actually be, a viola. Audio Active's own reconstruction of "Weed Specialist" subtracts most of what was a great Skip MacDonald vocal and replaces it with a nice breakbeat, which seems like a pretty fair trade. Alec Empire does great violence to "My Way," with rather claustrophobic results, but the barely controlled junglist chaos of the Kuranaka remix of "Citizen Zombie" is a riot in the best sense of the term. On-U Sound's international cult will find plenty to love here.

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