Push Button Objects: 360° Remixes, Tosca: Different Tastes of Honey

360° Remixes
Chocolate Industries

Different Tastes of Honey

The remix album is the ultimate affirmation of both the lover's devotion (one track over and over again) and the skeptic's derision. After all, is there a better reason for the accusation that [insert genre name here] all sounds alike than an entire album consisting of different versions of the same song? But a good remix album can operate like a regular album, provided the treatments are varied enough.

Not that 360° Remixes--which reworks Push Button Objects' recent collaboration with Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Mr. Lif, and DJ Craze--is notably eclectic. But PBO's ticktocking beat, unadorned, almost acoustic-sounding guitar, and hollow-toned scratches are plenty juicy to begin with. And aside from the Herbaliser's lounge-isms, the new mixes equal or better the original. DJ Spinna offers simple, effective goth-funk--wispy violins and muffled Benedictine monk chants--while Kut Masta Kurt deconstructs blaxploitation soundtrack clichés, cutting a lowdown funk guitar and chase-scene strings in and out of the beat. And El-P's mix is as deep gray and dystopian as the lyrics themselves: "The new era brings terror/You wish the quality of life was better/Peep the dilemma," raps Mr. Lif.

There's no such dilemma on Tosca's Different Tastes of Honey, featuring 13 reworkings of "Honey," from 1999's Suzuki. That song's only lyric is "I want my honey," and if you think a half-dozen repetitions of three verses and choruses is trying, wait till you hear one line echoing across 75 minutes. (If you want to go macro, there's also the self-explanatory new Suzuki in Dub.) But where the 360° song grounds the PBO mixes, Tosca's are more like a game of telephone: Each track seems to emanate not from the original but from the track preceding it.

Markus Kienzi stays close to Tosca's blueprint, but the rest wander from Biggabush's chunky, clunky funk (think of a sound clash between Seventies and Eighties Herbie Hancock), to the relaxed yet pumping house of Faze Action and Organic Audio, to the roots-reggae feel of the second of two Supatone dubs. Perfect for that evening of tantric lovemaking you've been putting off.

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