Björk

The Best Mixes from the Album Debut (For All the People Who Don't Buy White Labels)

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The title may be lengthy, but it's also perfectly accurate; this release serves as a fine catch -- all of the earliest remixes done for Björk. Compared to the explosion of mixes and alternate takes that would surface on later singles, the mere six mixes totaling 41 minutes here seem paltry. The quality level, thankfully, remains quite high (quite happily, Mick Hucknall's mix of "Venus as a Boy" has been ignored). It starts with the definite highlight, Underworld's radical revamp of "Human Behavior." A 12-minute long masterpiece, it replaces the shuffling stutter of the original's percussion with a combination of crisp disco pulse and fast-paced funk loop, with other quirky keyboard bits and spoken samples floating in and out of the mix as needed. Björk's vocals remain intact, but otherwise this is pretty much Underworld's showcase, and a fine one; the addition of piano at the end adds to the unexpected charm and power of the mix. The remaining mixes are split between avant- techno trio Black Dog and remixer extraordinaire Andy Weatherall, more specifically his Sabres of Paradise project. The Sabres' "Endorphin" mix of "One Day" is a chilled, stoned slice of loveliness, light piano and dub-touched echoes matching the slow beat and Björk's slightly reverb-treated vocals. A faster-paced mix of the same track, the "Springs Eternal" take, has some good crisp electronic percussion but isn't as strong, while a version of "Come to Me" feeds Björk's vocals through heavy reverb and echo over a quiet series of beats. Black Dog's mix of "Come to Me" has echoes of Muslimgauze's Arabic/techno fusion to it, a nice touch, while their take on "The Anchor Song" has a nicely strange, second-long loop and a totally a capella mid-song vocal break that works wonders.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 12:07
2 5:10
3 5:05
4 4:55
5 4:49
6 9:48
blue highlight denotes track pick