Album Review: REDUXER by alt-J

Posted by Bianca on Friday Sep 21, 2018 Under Album Review

Review by John McEvoy

Formed in 2007 at Leeds University, alt-J are a critically acclaimed band who to date have released 3 albums, the first of which ‘An Awesome Wave’ saw them claim the Mercury Prize in 2012. Their second album ‘This Is All Yours’ released in 2014 went straight to No. 1. Their third album ‘Relaxer’ was released in June 2017 and again this album was nominated for the Mercury Prize but they lost out that year.

REDUXER is their fourth album and it’s a complete remix of ‘Relaxer’ featuring guest artist and producers.

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There’s a common held belief that the remix album is often perceived as a sure sign of a band running low on creative juices, however in this case the new alt-J album ‘Reduxer’ does not fall into this category. Whilst these tracks retain enough of the original version to be familiar to anyone who knows the ‘Relaxer’ album, the clever remix treatment of the tracks is enough to regard them as new pieces of work, and much of this is down to the careful selection of producers and guest artists who have managed to produce in my opinion a remarkable album.

Opening track ‘3WW’ featuring a rap from Little Simz, is a great example of this with its rumbling bass throughout which is reminiscent of early Massive Attack. ‘In Cold Blood’ which is always the crowd pleaser and ‘Adeline’ get a clever trappy remix, (a genre that is currently being flogged to death) and they are genuinely great tracks. ‘Last Year’ which was originally a stripped back acoustic almost folksy track gets a lo-fi soulful R&B treatment with a GoldLink rap and is an outstanding tune. ‘Pleader’ also get the bass heavy Hip Hop treatment and features Puerto Rican rapper PJ Sin Suela.

On this album you will also get additional mixes of ‘3WW’ with French rapper Lomepal, as well as ‘In Cold Blood’ and the album closes with the sublime Rejjie Snow stripped backed slow funk version of ‘Hit Me Like That Snare’ which I played far too many times on repeat!

As remix albums go, this is a refreshing and innovative take on a well-trodden path, and it has certainly avoided the usual lazy remix pitfalls, i.e. whack an EDM back beat on. In short, they’ve managed to achieve the difficult trick of ensuring that there’s enough here to intrigue people who already own the original album, and at the same time their clever use of producers and guest artists has ensured that this album should attract new listeners.

This album is out on the 28th September, make sure you put the date in your diary. Also alt-J are going out on the road in October and I would urge you to get yourselves a ticket.

You won’t regret it…

REDUXER – released 28th September 2018 on Infectious Music.

Track listing:

01. 3WW (feat. Little Simz) (OTG Version) 5:07
02. In Cold Blood (fest. Pusha T) (Twin Shadow Version) 2:47
03. House Of The Rising Sun (feat. Tuka) (Tuka Version) 4:54
04. Hit Me Like That Snare (Jimi Charles Moody version) 3:32
05. Deadcrush (feat. Danny Brown) (Alchemist x Trooko Version) 4:04
06. Adeline (feat. Paigey Cakey and Hex) (ADP Version) 3:47
07. Last Year (feat. GoldLink) (Terrace Martin Version) 4:18
08. Pleader (feat. PJ Sin Suela) (Trooko Version) 4:46
09. 3WW (feat. Lomepal) (Lomepal Version) 3:16
10. In Cold Blood (feat. Kontra K) (Kontra K Version) 3:35
11. Hit Me Like That Snare (feat. Rejjie Snow) (Rejjie Snow Version) 3:00

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alt-J Tour Dates:

Mon 15 Oct – DUBLIN, Olympia Theatre
Sun 21 Oct – GLASGOW, SEC Armadillo
Tue 23 Oct – LEEDS, Town Hall
Wed 24 Oct – LEICESTER, De Montford Hall
Thu 25 Oct – GATESHEAD, The Sage
Sun 28 Oct – MANCHESTER, Bridgewater Hall
Mon 29 Oct – LONDON, Royal Albert Hall

See http://www.altjband.com/ for full worldwide dates and ticket information.

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