It has come: a rarity among remix albums, Fairground: Future Circus Remixed is a monstrously huge collection that twists and bends the original seven songs of Future Circus into something entirely new and even more exciting.
Remix albums are often nothing to get excited about. In most instances, they’re carelessly crafted and looked at as a way to cash in even more on songs a band has already written. Why not get somebody else to remix them? Then the band can get extra money without having to lift a finger!
Of course this isn’t what Saxsyndrum did. Future Circus is a wild and incredible ride, and clearly Nick Schofield and Dave Switchenko saw that there were infinite remix possibilities, especially as an almost purely instrumental band. So instead of throwing their songs to the wind and seeing who catches them, they canvassed their friends in the music community.
As a result, there’s a wealth of material. Each song on Future Circus is treated to two remixes, except for “Heartstrings,” which receives four. Remixers include Beta Frontiers, Pick a Piper, Year of Glad, Wake Island, Cyrus and more.
And of course nothing sounds remotely the same. One would think four remixes of “Heartstrings” would be overkill, but every stab at it sounds different. Johnny_Ripper’s version makes it sound like something out of a music box. Synja turns the song into something like chillwave, and even adds some vocals in later. Nick Schofield “remixes” his own song with a striking orchestral rendition, and Steffan Christoff makes the song absolutely gorgeous with just a piano.
Both remixes of “Give Thanks” are rare instances of the remixes keeping in some sounds of the saxophone; Loopsy Daisy plays with Akua Carson’s vocals over a background of horns while Wake Island keeps the vocals slightly more intact and brings in the saxophone more gradually.
There’s of course plenty more to explore. Listen to How Sad turn the craziness of “Witchkraft” into a song based nearly entirely on Sea Oleena’s vocals with a gradual fade-in of a drum machine. ¡Flist! makes “Les Belles Nana” into something entirely creepy. Cyrus turns “Lace Up” into a smooth dream that somehow manages to sound like jazz while being blatantly electronic.
This is still only the tip of the iceberg. The album runs over an hour, but never stagnates. Just take it all in and be transported.
Top Tracks: “Heartstrings (Synja)”; “Lace Up (Cyrus)” and so many more
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*