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Modular Presents – [Album]

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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

2007 proved to be a stellar year for the remix. From the ludicrous, but nonetheless “we taking over” boldness of DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood (Remix)” to the unending abundance of the many reinterpretations of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” (winner goes to Les Rythmes Digitales…sorry Spank Rock and Mos Def), 07 brought its fair share of arpeggios, with each and every one peaking at RSVP-required social gatherings, or if you’re lucky, a party mix a pal might’ve made for you.

Ironically enough, the two are synonymous with Modular Records, an Australian independent record label up started by their release of Since I Left You, the critically acclaimed 2001 debut record from The Avalanches. Now flashing forward six years, major metropolitan areas (Los Angeles, New York, London) are home bases for the fledgling electronic-enthused label, parties are being conquered and artists like brethren Presets, Cut Copy and Wolfmother call it home, with a handful of imports (Klaxons, Chromeo, MSTRKRFT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) making it across the Great Barrier Reef.

Global for its own good you might say; but the parties never really stop, and now with the recent release of Modular’s second “best of” compilation, the aptly named Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 2, the party could go on for weeks as a motherload of 31 bangers (many of which are remixes) are primed and deadlocked on the coordination of your well-spirited fist pump.

“There weren't any themes in particular we were working off. It was more like the next advancement forward from #1, a list of songs from the last year or so that were doing special things to us,” says Glen Goetze, A&R rep for Modular Records. “I think overall the comp is a little more banging and less rocking, but that wasn't really a conscious move.

If “banging” was to be the core of the compilation it makes perfect sense that off the bat we are greeted by the sexy sounds of CSS’s “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above,” a safe start to the mix that spreads along 20 tracks (a.k.a., Disc 1). The rest are bits and pieces, mished and mashed, courtesy of the Modular DJs to bring you one continuous pizza party jam. And while it’s odd to have Peter Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks” segue into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Gold Lion,” the mucho excessive chunk of Klaxons’ “Gravity’s Rainbow (Van She Remix),” Wolfmother’s “Woman (MSTRKRFT remix),” Presets’ “Are You the One (Club Mix)” and MSTRKRFT’s “Street Justice,” make up for it, due to one simple reason: while extremely laughable as an isolated track, the “Woman” remix manages to bridge the gap successfully from the interstellar helium-inspired Klaxons remix to the double shot of club histrionics from Presets and MSTRKRFT.

And our friends from the city of light, well…they’re not to be forgotten, as 07 marked a big year for French electronica, not only for the much-heralded return of Daft Punk but also the emergence of Justice who, unlike their Parisian heroes, go for a more unsubtle approach—case in point, “Waters Of Nazareth,” Modular’s Justice selection for Leave Them All Behind 2.

Asked how he would describe 07 electronica in a nutshell, Goetze remarks easily, “Noisy.” “Waters of Nazareth,” for the most part is…noisy. Almost to the point of heavy-metal electronics, the muddied synth flashes with a whisper of Karen O’s “bigger than the sound” make for the centerpiece of this mix.

And though disappointing that DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood (Remix)” was not included on either disc, (it would’ve gone really well in between Simian Mobile Disco’s “Hustler” and Franz Ferdinand’s “Outsiders (JD Twitch & The Truffle Club's Optimo Refreak)” on Disc 2 (a.k.a., the unmixed sandwich party jam), the pseudo-crunk phenoms from London, Hot Chip, are worthy replacements, and with a reworking of their schoolyard gem, “And I was a Boy from School,” by remix guru Erol Alkan (on Disc 1 of course!), makes for a fitting end. Good till the last beat/bite.

Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 2 is out now.

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