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Foetus | Blow | review | noise | industrial | rock | Lollipop


Blow (Thirsty Ear)
by Lex Marburger

Conan, what is best in a remix album?

"To smash the music, burn the structures, and hear the lamentations of the producers."

Yes, Conan, that is best. And so it goes with the latest Foetus offering, where Thirlwell has given the songs off Flow to other electro dudes and dudettes, and the results are very pleasing. The songs on Blow are entirely reworked, changing the styles, feels, and even the musical content of the tracks. For example, Amon Tobin changes "Cirrhosis of the Heart" from a big band mock-up to a drum'n'bass romp through hell, only tagging in the swing hook and a partial vocal line every once in a while. Meanwhile, Franz Treichler slows down the stomper "The Need Machine" into a dirge of desperation. Further down the road, Phylr transmutes the epic "Mandelay" into some extended electro-Hindu world-hypno existential-industrial burner (and not as pretentious as it sounds, to boot). Too bad he didn't keep that final drum pattern, tho'. It was really nice, in a lopsided, roll-of-quarters-in-the-dryer kind of way. Charlie Clouser (NIN) does the standard "radio industrial" (if that's an actual term. If not, think of Filter doing Foetus, or something like that) thing. If they were going with a single, this would be it. In one of the more interesting and clever twists, Ursula 1000 turned "Someone Who Cares" into a rockabilly ballad-breakbeat-speedway number. Very slick.

One interesting point is that these remixers don't have the same sense of "anti-musicality" that Thirlwell does. That is, where Foetus draws things out to an uncomfortable conclusion, always throwing in one more minute of repetition, or skewing the sounds and beats out of tune, or phase, or time, the remixers keep the songs under five minutes (except for DJ Food, who just likes to fuck with my theories. Go figure.). Not only that, they re-shape the songs into, well, songs. Not that Flow didn't have any, but in a way, the re-interpretations of Foetus have brought the music more towards the middle. I'd still recommend Flow over Blow, but the latter is an important counterpoint to the former. Aw, hell. Get both. You know you want to. You can never have too much Foetus.
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