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Idles share new remixes by members of Slint, The Vaccines, alt-J, and more [Premiere]

10 December 2015, 10:45 | Written by Laurence Day

Bristol punks Idles are streaming a new remix EP, featuring edits by Slint's David Pajo, The Vaccines' Pete Robertson, Sly-One, and alt-J's Thom Green.

The short-player rewords each track from their MEAT EP, and is called META.

Speaking about his remix, Pajo says:

“Remixing a song I'm not too excited about is easy. I add my own tracks and use as little of the original as possible until I like it. This wasn't the case with Idles. I loved the song, the performance, the tone of the instruments. There were so many approaches I could take, but they would fail. The original track would always be better. I decided to amplify how the song made me feel.

"It's confrontational and youthful in a uniquely British way. Being an old man who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, the music that made me wanna smash windows was punk; specifically, hardcore from the early-mid '80s. Labels like Touch and Go, Dischord, Plan 9, and SST were esoteric and unknown at the time. But I worshipped their bands and the music they made informs my worldview to this day.

"Yup. Nothing more depressing than an aging punk! Standing there with his wrinkled jowls, bleached hair, and docs. Bragging about all the shows he's seen to anyone who will listen. At any rate, I ended up switching the beat to a comfortable, bourbon-swilling, double-time hootenanny. The song structure would be determined by a 'hey I can do that!' 2 or 3 note bassline played excessively loud, flipping off the amp designers original intentions.

"A manic, siren-wailing, nearly black metal, guitar would get the throatpunch party started. With Lyle Preslar riffing away like he couldn't fucking wait for his part to come around.

"Like any good early '80s hardcore band, the vocalist was stuck with a mic swindled from the only punk venue within 70 miles of the band. And of course he has to plug into the little beginners amp the guitarist hadn't yet sold at the pawn shop for cigarette money. Even so, he would be lucky to be heard over the amps and cymbals. So he had to put the little amp on a shelf at ear level and basically scream all the oxygen out of his body. Et voila!

"Going to a real studio for the first time was enthralling to a pock-marked virgin, all these crazy sounds you could get. So the only overdub on your record, besides backing vocals, would be a weirdo idea the guitarist had, sent through some effect the engineer never used but now it sounded amazing since the band coerced him into smoking a joint.

"So that's my fingerprint on this song, my history. It makes me wanna bounce off the walls like I used to feel as a pre-teen. Everyone dismissed it as teenage angst, but really it was a huge grin. Wicked and know-it-all, but a smile nonetheless.”

When the original EP was announced, we spoke to the band's frontman Joe Talbot about the band's time away, their love of The Monks, and touring with Protomartyr.

Idles play Salisbury's Music Box on 12 December, and Bristol's Marble Factory on 16 December (supporting Turbowolf).

Find out more about Idles. You can pre-order the META EP on iTunes, and listen on Spotify.

Stream the remixes below, and then check out the original and David Pajo versions of the "Queens" video after.

"Queens" (David Pajo remix)


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