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"Hidden Remixes"

These New Puritans – Hidden Remixes
01 December 2010, 15:00 Written by Tiffany Daniels

The orchestral boom of Hidden will surely garner Southend-on-Sea’s These New Puritans a place on most of 2010’s end of year lists. With their second album the group approached the recording studio as a conductor approaches the stage. They departed from their punk routes to embrace a wholly new concept of music. Hidden is as profound in sound as it is in concept: from sonic static and hypnotic rhythm, to the brilliant yet bizarre introduction of a brass and woodwind section, the record and its score is inspiring.

Why then would the band entrust their unique gold to somebody else? Remixing something so profound is unnecessary; arguably someone else’s vision of their work could undervalue the original. These New Puritans were already a wave, an oil rig and an ocean above all of this tomfoolery. God knows what convinced them to release Hidden Remixes and the five variations there in.

Take for example SBTRKT’s remix of ‘We Want War’. It eliminates George Barnett’s incessant percussion, quickens Jack Barnett’s deadpan vocal and overshadows the approaching brass with average fuzz and a vaguely irritating blip. Above all, it erases the song’s potential to engage its listeners in a fearful advance. ‘Main Attraktionz (3000)’ may display the many dimensions of These New Puritans’ music, but ultimately it makes a chart mockery of something that was previously uncharitable. Likewise, Salem’s remix of ‘Hologram’ deducts the band’s personable charm and puts the song very squarely in the Michigan trio’s territory; it’s not awful, but it’s not These New Puritans either.

If the five songs on Hidden Remixes were debuted by any other band they could have been hailed as modern dance floor classics. These tracks may still play in sweltering indie basements until their dying day, but only if the DJ’s lost his copy of Hidden.

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