Not only did I learn about Japanese electro whiz-kid Scottish Fold (aside: CUTEST ARTIST NAME EVER), but through his remixes I also learned about a slew of other electronic musicians. Having never heard of any of his rework subjects, I did the objective thing and listened to both the original and the Scottish Fold take. First up, Parisian boogie-dudes Housse De Racket’s “Sur Le Papier” goes under the knife. The original tries to mix Phoenix electro-rock with funk music with the results sounding totally French. And I don’t mean “French” like warm baguettes and bike races, I mean “French” sneered by the likes of Bill O’Reilley as he empties a bottle of wine into a gutter. Scottish Fold’s makeover manages to improve the song immensely by eradicating the wannabe Dam-Funk keyboards and transforming this into, basically, an 80kidz song. It’s a great approximation of that duo, though, with it’s glitchy vocals matched up against some vaguely sci-fi whistles and doo-dads. A definite improvement over the original.
Next up – Liverpool’s Soft Toy Emergency with the (much better than Housse De Racket’s) synth-pop joint “White Lights.” Scottish Folds saps the pop bounce out of the track and replaces it with a jarring zapper, piano and 80s keyboards (not funky though). It’s less a radical transformation as it’s just a dancefloor take on the original, and on that end it succeeds because it definitely is more shakeable in this form. But it’s no mass improvement over Soft Toy’s catchy first-go. Just a nice complimentary track.
The most natural remix material comes with The Touch’s “Xtra Energy,” a straight up house jam in the style of Simian Mobile Disco. Scottish Fold’s remix doesn’t flip the song in any radical direction like the above two, instead inserting a warmer synth-line and fluffing the run time out to six-minutes. Great club fodder. Finally, he digs his claws into the one band I actually recognize, New York’s Phenomenal Handclap Band. He pulls a similar trick, turning the tune into a chopped-up electro floor packer complete with dramatic build-up, but it works better here as the PHB’s original moved along to a ’70s rock groove.
Scottish Fold – talented artist who can transform anything into a good dance tune, and a guy who teaches bloggers about other artists from around the globe. What else could ya want?