King Midas Sound Without You
More or less a dubstep supergroup, London trio King Midas Sound ranks high within Hyperdub's hierarchy, sitting not far from the enviable positions that have been held by Burial, Zomby, and label boss Kode9 himself. It's probably the best way to go about justifying a remix album—or "album of reworks," as the PR would like it to be called—that arrives two years after its source material, but that could also be partially explained by the laundry list of top-shelf producers on Without You. And yet despite appearances from the likes of Mala, dBridge, Flying Lotus, Gang Gang Dance, and Cooly G, King Midas Sound's collection of Waiting for You remixes largely feels uneven and half-baked.
There are a few of the 15 selections that outshine the others: namely, Mala's dark interpretation of "Earth a Kill Ya," the queasy rework of "Goodbye Girl" by Kuedo, and the sole version of title track "Without You," which is rendered into a haunted melange of sub-frequencies by drum & bass veteran dBridge. Outside of those tunes (and maybe a small handful of other enjoyable moments scattered throughout the record), Without You doesn't do a whole lot to impress. Flying Lotus' bumbling take on "Lost" sounds like any one of his imitators making a half-assed go at the producer's trademarked un-quantized production style; the 'revoice' of "Say Something" by Joel Ford (of Ford & Lopatin) is simply a bad combination of R&B, new age, and eastern-influenced dubstep; and Gang Gang Dance's whimsical version of "Earth a Kill Ya" takes the Brooklyn band's psychedelia a bit too deep into the obnoxious realm of Nickelodeon sound effects. Even Kode9 and The Spaceape's drifty, all-too-brief remix of "Meltdown" sounds undeveloped and tacked-on. It's not completely surprising—or even all that detrimental—that Without You doesn't present a balanced aesthetic, as most remix albums don't. However, with the kind of high-caliber talent featured on this record, it is a bit of a shock that there aren't more winning combinations to be heard.
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