Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Björk Marathon: The Remixes - Debut

I'm not sure why lately, I've been listening to Björk's remixes. Maybe it's because I just can't get enough of Björk, and even though I've listened to a good 95% of her work, the 5% that I've basically ignored or under-appreciated is her remixes, so it's about time that I started listening to them. And I did, for all of them, per album era, and overall, a lot of them are misses, but there are so many gems in her remixes repertoire. The thing is, I really don't like remixes. They all too often sound busy, annoying, obnoxious, and too techno/dance when that type of flavor is not necessary for a song that's either already techno/dance, or where it feels tacked on and it's so unnecessary. Björk's remixes are no different: some are everything that I can't stand about remixes. But what makes Björk's remixes special is not only because it's, well, Björk, but because of who she chooses to remix her songs. She doesn't just let anyone remix her songs. Typically, those who remix her work are her collaborators, friends, or artists that she admires and trusts enough for them to do their own spin on her songs and making them sound fresh and new. The release of her singles/remixes also to me feel more like love letters or homages to the DJ culture than her just releasing remixes for the hell of it.

With each album era, the remixes seem to reflect the time era in their sound and also the place where Björk is/was in her life at the time. The Debut remixes are so 90's, but not painfully so. I wouldn't say that these remixes are as adventurous as the remixes for her later albums, but they are fun, sexy, and freeing like the liberated Björk who was so excited and hungry to release her music post-Sugarcubes. From this album era, there are seven remixes that I really liked, and they are:

Human Behavior (Acoustic)

"Human Behavior" is one of those songs where I don't think it really needed to be remixed, but I love the acoustic version that you can watch on her Debut Live DVD. This particular version is wonderful because you can really hear Björk's trademarked growls, howls, and other otherworldly vocal quirks.

Venus as a Boy (Anglo American Version) 

Remixed by: Mick Hucknall

Now this remix is just gorgeous. It still preserves the original sound of "Venus as a Boy" but makes it sound even more playful, sultry, and hypnotic. This almost makes me all gushy. Just adorable.

Play Dead (Tim Simenon 12 Inch Remix)

Remixed by:  Tim Simenon 

I love the DRAMA of this song, and Tim Simenon's remix of it makes it sound even more epic.

Come to Me (Black Dog Productions)

Remixed by: Black Dog Productions  

What makes this remix work completely are the strings that climb up this track and in the background you have this catchy beat that blends in so well with it and, naturally, with Björk's vocals. This version of "Come to Me" sounds more urgent unlike the original that sounded more reassuring.
Anchor Song (Acoustic Version) 

What's not to love about the acoustic versions? I love how much more emphasized her hisses are here and where you can truly feel her heart and spirit emanating in the sweet and personal lyrics.  

Come to Me (Acoustic Version)

Ooh, look, another acoustic version! What makes "Come to Me" acoustically more special?

Listen, and you'll hear why this is a stand out. 

Violently Happy (Vox Dub)

Remixed by: Nellee Hooper

This version of "Violently Happy" makes me feel violently happy!

Which remix out of this bunch do you love? 


  1. Replies
    1. "Play Dead" is so underrated! I love all the remixes for it :).