The Phoenix Remix Album: Even Better Than the Original?


The art of remix can be lost on the Internet. The moment a pop-perfect album, like Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix drops, seemingly everyone takes to their computers (and not just to download the leak). Blogs begin to look like battlefields, remix after remix after remix: because really, who wouldn’t like a nice disco take on “1901”?

But to make a great album sound even better is a real challenge, and generally, even the best remixes are forgotten after a few spins. Surely you’ve heard your fair share of Phoenix remixes already; but the band has put together an entire album of legit remixes, and based on the few previews they’ve leaked, there’s something to look forward to come October 13.

Last week, the band posted a remix by Devandra Banhart. His particular brand of freak folk is is alien to the “Zenith de Paris” pop, but his take on the slightly melancholic “Rome” is well meditated. The airy mix strips all the triumph from “Rome,” and what’s left behind is heartbreaking, if not heartbreakingly beautiful.

And then, a new morning, a new remix: today brought Animal Collective’s try — notably, the oft forgotten member, “Deakin’s Jam.” These guys took on “Love Like A Sunset,” adding their own vocals and hollowing it out with whorls and lap top twitches. Deakin wrote on Phoenix’s blog that his inspiration was a trip he took, scuba diving in Panama with their music fresh in his mind. This is exactly what the remix sounds like: Phoenix, as heard in the mind of a submerged Animal Collective member.

Both remixes sound like extensions of the originals while standing as songs in their own right — like cherries on top of an already delicious album. You can check out Friendly Fires’ take here, and the rest of the album, with mixes from YACHT, Phoenix tourmates Chairlift, Passion Pit, and others, will be out later this month on Glassnote/Loyaute.

With Devandra and AnCo’s remixes already out, which do you want to hear next? Even more importantly, is it impossible to ruin a Phoenix track?