Cities .::. Variations

Cities put out a self-titled record this year on Yep Roc, and it is definitely in constant competition for the top ten slot. From start to finish, it's a great record with highlights that simply elaborate on the consistent flow throughout the album.

Now, in most cases a remix album on behalf of the first record is often a bad idea. At the very least, it's something to roll your eyes too due to the obscene amounts of success, in my opinion, that Linkin Park's Meteora got. Ok, fine, it's not that bad of a remix album, but it gave this new sense of permission to debut records to remix everything in sight.

Cities have taken up the challenge, titled it Variations (which, I'll admit, I misread the first time and uttered the question, "Urinations?" to a co-worker...yeah), and are releasing it through the same label on October 3rd. For quite some time now, there's been a contest for the track slots, as they'd followed the order of the record's original format.

The result is simply awesome. As someone who is a bit of a remix junkie, I haven't yet explored every crevice of this record, but I will admit that it's a great take on each track. Ladytron's remix of "Writing On The Wall" contains the UK group's signature sound, and Fog's Black Metal Mix of "OOC" is contains irreverent vocal tweaking, throbbing bass drum, and unexpected quiet moments that are more eerie than soothing.

My highest expectations were with the remix of "Capitol," the best track on the album by far. Free The Robots remixed it without a snazzy name. Still, the remix contains some of the smarter choices of electronic's greatest in the last decade or so. There's an airiness much like Aphex Twin's "Bucephalous Bouncing Ball" and the heavy downbeat on the third note a la Massive Attack in their Mezzanine days. The pace picks up about halfway through, which has a more digital Haujobb/Skinny Puppy element to the song's original darkness. Gorgeous.

Audible1: Cities - "A Theme"
Audible 2: Isan - "Writing On The Wall [Brutal Folly Mix]"
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/citiesnc

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