Album Review: Enter Shikari - 'The Mindsweep: Hospitalised'

9 November 2015 | 11:46 am | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Remixes. Remixes never change.

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Instrumental and remixed albums are a bit of a rare commodity in the alternative/heavy music scenes and when they do happen, they fall a little flat, as they usually struggle to capture the “magic” of the vanilla version. Enter Shikari’s remixed album, ‘The Mindsweep: Hospitalised’, is the one of the few exceptions to the rule. This spin on the band's latest record (ha) is a collaboration between Hospital Records (and a host of Med School's artsits) and Enter Shikari and it comes close to being as good as the original version ‘The Mindsweep’, as it was fantastic, let’s be real. Funnily enough Enter Shikari’s music has always been more than suitable for the remix treatment, hence why the band remixed a bunch of their tracks with ‘Tribalism’, why they have a DJ side-project – Shikari Sound System - and why singer Rou Reynolds has his own side-project, ROUT. Yet these artists and producers take it all one step further.

Usually, the aesthetics of such remix albums are as follows; heaps of pitch shifting, reverse delay and reverse reverb effects, ethereal synth pads, sped up or slowed down vocal parts, a fair few low and high pass filters and harsh wobbling, bass lines that could carve your head in. This remixed album is filled with all of those elements and more, and remains consistent towards drum and bass styles. All of the original drums and bass lines have been replaced for the respective producer to mess around with, but a majority of each song’s vocals remain. This keeps all of the songs in this weird limbo state of being familiar and totally new as well. Which works in it;s favour. Some of the original synth parts from the vanilla album version remain as well, yet they’ve either had different panning or processing done to them so that each producer/band can inject their own flavour to the songs. And how delectable these songs are.

Easily the best tracks here are Reso’s take on ‘Anaesthetist’, a track so gnarly that you’ll be getting full on nosebleeds (much like that Key & Peele scene) with each listen; Urbandawn’s ridiculously hectic remix of the already hectic b-side ‘Slipshod’; and The Erised’s beautiful version of ‘Interlude’, which was once a one minute song with a bright brass section now turned into a superb bobbing trance track, complete with vocals. And as far as the drum and bass aspect go, 'The One True Colour' remix, done by Keeno, is arguably the best D'n'B track you'll find on the record, and is a massive standout. The rest of the album is solid, and fans of Enter Shikari will really appreciate the outside influence and effort gone into this. If you're not that much of a fan of the English quartet, we'd still recommend it, as it's different enough to convert any and all non-believers.

If there was one other band that could get away with a remix album it would probably be Crossfaith, yet even those guys would be hard pressed to topple this release. Whether you adored or just simply enjoyed ‘The Mindsweep’ the first time round, than this is a strong recommendation from us, as it shows that even with a different arrangement and some different production techniques, these songs are still upper tier. Is this the best remix album of 2015? You know it.

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1. The Appeal & The Mindsweep I (Metrik Remix

2. The One True Colour (Keeno Remix)

3. Anaesthetist (Reso Remix)

4. The Last Garrison (S.P.Y Remix)

5. Never Let Go Of The Microscope (Etherwood Remix)

6. Myopia (Bop Remix)

7. Torn Apart (Hugh Hardie Remix)

8. Interlude (The Erised Remix)

9. The Bank Of England (Lynx Remix)

10. There’s A Price On Your Head (Danny Byrd Remix)

11. Dear Future Historians (London Elektricity Remix)

12. The Appeal & The Mindsweep II (Krakota Remix)

13. Slipshod (Urbandawn Remix)