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Quirky Little Japanese Guy

FM and CM

With 2 albums under his belt already in his homeland Japan, Cornelius finally treaded onto US soil with the domestic release of his third album Fantasma by Matador records. While his original work was the object of much praise for it's originality, one of the other reasons the 27-year-old wonder is known for is his remixes. On two different (but simultaneous) releases, not only do we now get a batch of remixes by Cornelius, but also a second batch of remixes of his original work by other artists. We're not talking little names involved, either. On the CM disc (remixes by Cornelius of others work), he hijaks songs by UNKLE, Money Mark, Coldcut, the Pastels, Buffalo Daughter and the High Llamas. Returning the favor on the FM disc (remixes by others of Cornelius' work) are the same 5 groups, as well as Damon Albarn of Blur and Konishi Yasuharu of the Pizzicato 5. Basically, craziness ensues on both discs.

Starting things off on CM, Cornelius tears into a completely wicked remix of UNKLE's "Ape Shall Not Kill Ape." After starting with a silly sample, it tears into a electro-thrash version of the song replete with little bits of stringed instruments, unholy sound-effects samples and a completely surging rhythym. Blood thoroughly pumping, he then drops off into a remix of Money Marks "Maybe I'm Dead" from last years excellent disc Push The Button. Instead of the hand-clapping original, though, the track is tweaked down several notches into a completely laid-back chill-out mix. Although I've already heard probably nearly 10 mixes of it already, Cornelius also takes on Coldcut's "Atomic Moog 2000." Fortunately, he manages to massage even a little more life into it with large orchestra hits and a stutter-stepping beat. From there it's on the amazing mix of "Windy Hill" by the Pastels (also available on last years Illuminati), and a stripped-down version of "Homespin Rerun" by the High Llamas (originally on their Cold and Bouncy release).

Money Mark takes first honors on the FM disc with his old-school remix of "Mic Check." It's driven by a sort of pseudo hip-hop beat and repetitive sound bites. The High Llamas mix of "The Micro Disneycal World Tour" injects the track with sort of influences that are worn directly on the sleeve. With it's light female chorus, blurping beats, and fiddles, it sounds like it very well could have come off the High Llamas last release. Buffalo Daughter take on "New Music Machine" and go the strip-down route, breaking things down to a simple drum-machine beat and vocal track. Fresh off his work with Michael Kamen on the Ravenous soundtrack and the electronic-infused 13, Blur's Damon Albarn turns "Star Fruits Surf Rider" into a bumping, electronic track with goofy lyrics and speak and spell voice segue. UNKLE does their usual deep, dark number on "Free Fall" with a thick beat and tons of scratching. Perhaps the best remix on the disc, though, goes to the old-farts (and I mean that in every good way possible) Coldcut with their ballistic scatter-brain remix of "Typewriter Lesson." It sounds like it's going in fourteen different directions (or more) and a Windows (TM) error sound even makes its way into the mix, making it sound like there was an actual error in the remixing process.

Overall, the two different discs CM and FM show off a lot of different styles, even though they technically have one artist in common throughout both of them. Not only does the eclectic Cornelius tweak things on the tracks he remixes, but the other artists involved leave their marks as well. The only problem I can find with the discs is their length. There are only 7 tracks and 36 minutes or so worth of music on CM and about the same amount of music on FM as well. It's good for a quick boost of goof sounds, but it might have worked better crammed into one release.

Rating: CM : 6.5
           FM : 7