Bloc Party had a huge year doing all the stuff huge rock bands do, like touring arenas and playing with orchestras. October 27 could have been the highlight of all, collaborating with a choir at the BBC Electric Proms session. Defying doctor's orders Kele put his gut into this one, and although these recording don't do the night justice, but you hear the ambition and adventure in the music, and the electricity in the room. "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)" turns hymnal, and "Waiting For The 718" is an avalanche of vocals and guitar lines.
With all the terrible Bloc Party remixes, covers, and mash ups out there (you know who you are), these first two take the prize for 2007. We're almost sorry to give them more play here but the stink is already out there. Finger snapper 'n' looper KT Tunstall seems like a nice enough person, and it was sweet of her to shout out "The Prayer" in The New York Times and to any reporter in 100 yards. But this is laughably flaccid and desperate. Of course at least she's not Fergie. Death to DJ Schmolli, conjurer of this nugget of pure evil.
The next two aren't necessary bad but don't add much to the dialogue. Perennial Bloc Party opening act Final Fantasy does an anemic but sweet enough love version of "This Modern Love" and Slowbear The Great from Norwich/Colchester (sounds like a terrible place mate!) does "Banquet" as nice-guy lullaby of harmonies, systematically removing every last bit of sex from the song.
Today's a bit of a clearing house of some of the better mixes that leaked out all over the internet and into dance sets around the world. Villains are an LA party machine, revving up tracks like "Hunting For Witches" into full-on bangers. Ohio turntablist Ruckus Roboticus (check out his great album here) brings a M/A/R/R/S-styled cut and paste version of the same song, pushing in odd sounds and creating a fun house of sonics. Melbourne-based Miami Horror distorted synths and guitar line to bedazzle the original. Dutch electronic artist Junkie XL brings more pure emotion into A Weekend In The City's most emotional song, with passion and love.
Bloc Party - Hunting for Witches (Villians Electro-Banger Remix)
Bloc Party - Hunting For Witches (Ruckus Roboticus remix)
Bloc Party - The Prayer (Miami Horror Remix)
Bloc Party - Sunday (Junkie XL remix)
We're starting off the final Bloc Party week of 2007 with two of the best remixes made for A Weekend In The City. Burial's second album is even better than his great first one, breaking dubstep out of its cold cage and opening up the genre to a world of soul and emotion. His mix of Bloc Party's "Where Is Home" could sit easily on Untrue as one of the album's more accessible tracks. In it, Burial zeroes in on the profound isolation and sadness buried beneath the fierce anger in the best protest song of 2007.
New Norwegian space-disco cadet Diskjokke introduces himself with an epic cure for Bloc Party's woozy hangover love song. Diskjokke's a disciple of Prins Thomas and M.A.N.D.Y, and a core of Oslo's genre-birthing club night Sunkissed. At over ten minutes long, this is a completely original and largely instrumental composition, with great moments of 70s strobe light disco, Italo-house ecstasy, and Underworld trance house. Kele's voice subtly pours down love at just the right moments.