Thursday, December 13, 2012

Collide - "Bent And Broken" 2xCD

A new double-album (26 tracks) of mostly remixes from California's finest dark-edged electro-rock act, "Bent And Broken" also includes some curious covers, including The Glove's "Orgy" and Queen's "She Makes Me". WIth the wealth of re-visited material here (mostly from their past couple of studio outings), fans of kArin and Statik's trademark blend of edgy electronica and sleek, ethereal vocal stylings will find much to enjoy here.

Quite often, remix albums are throwaways, shredding the artists' dignity in a shower of generic club beats or mainstream "radio friendly" mixes. For "Bent And Broken", I have to hand it to the band's choice in remixers -- there's nary a moment of "dubstep" foolishness here. Everything keeps Collide's integrity (and overall sound and personal, emotive vibe) intact.

It all opens with a heavy electronic remix by longtime Collide friends cEvin Key and Hiwatt Marshall, which works perfectly well in a trippy, skittering Skinny Puppy fashion. New track "Bent & Broken" is as good as anything the duo have done in the past, while the Queen cover ("She Makes Me") is a lovely, dreamy, even flighty acoustic-sounding rock song, sung in a gentle, ghostly voice courtesy of kArin. Other standouts include "Tears Like Rain (Cloudburst Mix)", which brings a serene, austere Eno piano ambience to great effect. "Counting To Zero (kaRin's Lullaby Mix by Antigen5)" is beautifully atmospheric and almost symphonic, while the "Unraveling Breaths" remix of "Utopia", by Whitney Kew, is a fittingly lovely ambient closer. 

A solid and faithful collection of both outsider remixes and a few new Collide tracks, "Bent And Broken" does the band justice, despite having many outside hands involved. Any fan will be more than pleased with this selection of dark and intelligent electro-rock stomp and slither. 

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