Depeche Mode

Remixes, Vol. 2: 81>11

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Remixes 2: 81-11, an inevitable sequel, contains a handful of early remixes not contained on Remixes 81-04, as well as a dozen selections from the Playing the Angel (2005) and Sounds of the Universe (2009) singles, and is filled out with 14 newly commissioned remixes. Among the older highlights are Francois Kevorkian's percussive “Dub in My Eyes” mix of “World in My Eyes” (which also resembles a muscular version of Kraftwerk’s “The Telephone Call,” a track he happened to mix four years prior) and the Tim Simenon/Mark Saunders mix of “Strangelove” (a radical overhaul that nonetheless sticks to the original’s core elements). For the Angel and Universe singles, the group held up its reputation of seeking diverse and cutting-edge producers, from Stuart Price (as Jacques Lu Cont) to Efdemin, for remix duties. Most of these later mixes can be polarizing for DM fans, as they reflect the course taken by “remix culture” throughout the 2000s; they are less like true remixes and more like brand-new productions with heavily treated snatches of Dave Gahan's vocals. This remains all the more true for the 2011 mixes, granted by the loved-or-hated likes of Eric Prydz (of Steve Winwood-sampling “Call on Me” fame) and international pop-chart overlords Stargate. More likely to keep the fans’ ears perked: new mixes from ex-members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder. Clarke’s “Behind the Wheel” is wonderfully sleek and slightly ominous, while Wilder’s “In Chains” is all dark ambience until the three-minute mark, when it gradually ascends into a meticulously layered grind. Once again, the compilation was offered on CD in three-disc and one-disc sets. The latter is more like a sampler with no discernible method to the selection process, and those who take that option will miss out on the Clarke and Wilder mixes, as well as numerous highlights.

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