Happily avoiding the practice of simply including the same lead single mix on this disc, Depeche devoted the second I Feel You EP towards further remixes of the heavy-duty track. The person behind the first two remixes might raise some eyebrows -- none other than Brian Eno himself, being his usual peripatetic self. Entitled the "Life's Too Short" and "Swamp" mixes, they call to mind what U2 were trying to do -- with mixed results -- under his care in the early '90s. Given that Depeche were always more explicitly dedicated to experimentation with sound and groove, what Eno does with the song feels more like a logical continuation. He keeps the basic rhythm in both mixes but otherwise experiments with echo, other rhythms, and out-of-nowhere noises, along with some good extra guitar from one Jamie West-Oram. Both results are winners, edgy and nervous in their own right. Danny Briottet handles the "Afghan Surgery" mix, compressing the lead riff in the mix to a quick, stuttering bark and laying down a solid new hip-hop rhythm; combined with other tweaks and treatments, especially on the vocals, it makes for an equally fine revamp. Mark Stent, who did a mix on the first single, returns with the concluding "Helmet at the Helm" mix, which starts out calm and then smacks into a new full-bodied beat for dancefloor action, the backing vocals swirling in the mix for extra atmosphere.
I Feel You Review
by Ned Raggett