A Guide To Lazy Habits – Part Two (‘RMX’)
Click here for Part One.
To review Lazy Habits’ latest release – RMX – I sat on a Northern Line Tube train and got stuck in. I chose this location for two reasons: 1) I could sit down and go through the entire album uninterrupted, and 2) opposite my seat was an unevenly positioned sticker ordering NO EYE CONTACT – PENALTY £200. These were my (mostly unedited) thoughts:
Processional – D.B.K. Remix
Hilariously cheeky 8-bit rearrangement. This needs to be synced with an arcade-style app game ASAP.
Ashes – The Disablists Remix
Funky horn staccato and swelling atmospherics. Kick enters and the rest builds slowly, intense anticipation breaking into a hypnotic groove and DJ scratching. Plenty of inventiveness with just enough structural familiarity to keep the listener from getting lost. If you were scoring a London-based gangster flick, this track would be a prime choice.
Surface Dirt – Benny Aves Remix
Traumatised bass and beat-3 groove holes add up to a hauntingly sparse and confident offering.
Even Out – Undersound Remix
Languid acoustic bass stretches out over uptempo drums. Added bounciness offsets no-holds-barred lyrics; a fascinating juxtaposition.
Perfect Sentence – Benji Boko Remix
Opening drums trip over their own stands; vocals and synth bass join in, finding each other on the one and diverging again. My favourite track on the album so far – complex but endlessly rewarding. Crazy arpeggiated swirls; a beautiful background touch.
Ghosts (Fallen) – H.C.S. Remix
Creepy Victorian music-box / fairground / circus vibes. Good thing I don’t suffer from coulrophobia.
Memory Banks – The Correspondents Remix
Backbeat chinks tight under brilliant and mostly untreated vocals. Just caught a Philip K. Dick reference I missed when listening to the original. Respect points: +10.
Starting Fires – 28 Hurtz Remix
Soul vibes dialled up before heavy beats and low, dirty bass hits. Warped synths rise and fall behind the chorus hook and unforgiving verse rhymes. Disturbingly beautiful overall effect.
Fades – Sona Vabos Remix
Hollow shimmering intro and thumping deep bass beat. Close your eyes and be transported to tropical beaches sweltering in midnight air on an island you’ve never visited, but will – one day. Energy managed masterfully and dynamic detail tops off a perfect cake-and-icing combination. If this track were a party, everybody would get their fair share of the laid.
The Road – Horsepower Remix
Late-Nineties delayed-vocal effects and Logic Glowstick-y synths, sci-fi laser noises and consistently oscillating bass for added pleasure. Soft, warm, and inviting; the bed after the Fades party.
Bulletin – 28 Hurts & Nutty P Remix
Lazy decay and pumping kicks. Too cool, even before the dalek-duck synths make themselves known. Another Caribbean-island friendly tune. Funky Transformer-having-a-heart-attack section too.
Drowned World – Floris Jonker Remix
If Cortana from Halo did the cyber-nasty with KITT from Knight Rider, it would sound like the second part of this intro. Things calm down (relatively speaking) with hard-edged drums and precisely drilled synth armies out on manoeuvres. End-of-the-world drops that wouldn’t be out of place at Alton Towers. Love it.
Please People – Fjokra Remix
The synths in here would make Prince work up way more than a Black Sweat. Really cool snare / hi hat interplay and naughty piano flourishes deep down in there, but nothing gets in the way of the vocal. Masterfully done. Kudos, Fjokra.
Recessional – D.B.K. Remix
More 8-bit cheekiness. If life had a ‘Like’ button, I would have clicked it during this track.
Ghosts (On My Way Small Screen) – H.C.S. Remix
Gently bumping vibes to close. This arrangement should be in every Tube busker’s repertoire, whatever their instrument. Short but sweet.
Overall: I’ve always been wary of remix albums. Even the term ‘remix’ takes me back to the turn of the millennium, a time of endless parades of cack-handed morons with MIDI sequencers filling the ears with overwrought hours of complete tosh. Describing those releases as excrementitious would be unacceptable only because to do so would be too nice. Since that time I’ve mostly avoided remix albums – so it’s great to hear that things have changed a lot over the past 15 years. This album, like the original Lazy Habits, is full of creative vibrancy, passion, and raw unbridled skills. I don’t award marks out of five or ten for reviews – but if I did, RMX would be a top scorer.
Check out Lazy Habits’ Facebook page for updates about the release as it happens: https://www.facebook.com/lazyhabits
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Check out even more Lazy Habits collaborations on YouTube via their ‘Band Melt’ series: