I must admit that Bloc Party have largely passed me by, something I am going to have to set straight if they are based on the reworkings I have heard. ‘Silent Alarm’ has been taken apart and reassembled by an impressive and sometimes unlikely set of artists and DJ’s. Starting with the ever fantastic Ladytron doing their best swooping electronica retelling of ‘Like Eating Glass’, the multi-talented Whitey laying big beats down over ‘Helicopter’ and Jason Clark (of Pretty Girls Make Graves) recasting of ‘Positive Tension’ into a track that is part discopunk, and a big part Duran Duran.
The album comes into its own in the danced up interpretations like the Phones, who are always worth a listen, as they create an ominously upbeat ‘Banquet’, the relentless tempo is mellowed temporarily for Engineers’ reworking of ‘Blue Light’ and then the brilliant Erol Alkan launches into a highly infectious ‘She’s Hearing Voices’. Topping everything here for energy and compulsive listening is Dave Pianka’s sublime ‘This Modern Love’.
Things go frankly weird for ‘The Pioneers’ as downtempo French outfit M83 take the reins only to have things pulled back from the brink by New York indie hip-hoppers Automato’s take on ‘Price of Gasoline’. Four Tet take a languid approach to ‘So Here We Are’ with a running high hat and what sounds like a babbling brook, it’s nice but a bit ‘busy’. The energy returns with a vengeance for Death From Above 1979 in ‘Luno’ as they transform the track into a energised sleazy electro with eighties flourishes.
Mogwai, never ones to be rushed, actually have a rather upbeat take on ‘Luno’ with squelchy bass way down low and punctuating electronic buzzes that works very well. Finally the closer is Nick Zinner’s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) take on ‘Compliments’ which contrary to expectations given his work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is not stamped all over by art rock jaggedness but is more reminiscent of electronic albums like Subtle’s ‘A New White'; a lovely surprise to close.
The album is unevenly paced but there is something here for anyone and it is still well worth a listen.
Label : Wichita
Release Date : 05 September 2005
Website : www.blocparty.com