Remixing began in context of the neo-tribal ritual of “rave parties” and developed later as a less functional, more meta-textual advertisement for up-and-coming producers. Both types have become a predictable bore, and the official “Remix Album” is an diabolic act of commercial necessity, only one-step better than a “Greatest Hits 2003-2004.” (Shugo Tokumaru’s NPRMX coming soon on Music Related with a remix by Marxy!)
The Japanese record industry has never quite seen their artists as anything more than commodities, and they get worried that fans will cease to remember an artist if he or she does not show up in the press once every three to four months. This is a fair concern, however, for those in the product business: If you didn’t see Almond Joy at your local 7-11 for a long stretch, you’d be pretty convinced they had ceased production. For a brief period from late 1999 to Spring 2000, I did indeed “forget about Dre” so maybe the Japanese market is on to something. In this spirit, a bunch of guys who have Reason installed on their computers — “remixers” in industry parlance — have toyed with Halcali’s music.
The album starts with Yuka Honda’s reworking of “Tandem,” which is fantastic demo of a remix. Can’t wait to hear the real track! I can almost hear what it’ll be like once she replaces all of the preset patches with better sounds. Takkyu Ishino’s kitsch techno mix is still hilarious after all these years, and I recommend digging online to find the terrible line-drawing Centaur-fantasy promotional video that went with it. Force of Nature put Haruka and Yukari (or is it Halca and Yucali?) over something uncomfortably close to the Beastie Boys’ “Ch-Ch-Check it Out,” and K.U.D.O. throws their “Marching March” vocals over a laptop version of “Tommorow Never Knows” (or perhaps, “Setting Sun” by the Chemical Brothers. Same deal.) If you love hearing melodies over mismatched, simplistic harmonic accompaniment, this is your dream album!
Listen, girls, your CCCD single for “Electric Sensei” broke my CD/DVD superdrive and your last album broke my heart, and I’d just stop listening if I didn’t have the whole piggy bank invested on you saving J-Pop. Tell you what: let’s just proclaim that “J-Pop is officially dead” so that when you come up with a good single, I can write something that starts with, “Arising like a phoenix from the ashes of J-Pop…”