Fans of Puscifer know how exciting it is when the band releases the re-mix component to their more established full length albums or ep’s. From the very beginning of the bands history this was a process that each song, each EP and each album was subjected too. These re-mixes help give new light to the already flawless songs and stand alone as important pieces of evolution in terms of the band’s sound. Sometimes the strength of the re-mix can steer you to favour these re-interpreted versions more than the originals. It is an incredible artform and when it is done well it can provide a brand new album out of an already established and familiar movement of music. As is the case with all of the work Maynard James Keenan has done, you often find that the emotional intensity of the songs are taken to all new levels with the re-mixes.
The re-mix companion to Puscifer’s 2011 release “Conditions of My Parole” is called “All Re-Mixed Up” and is a total reinvention of the sounds found on the original album. As an album “Conditions of My Parole” was already incredibly strong and one of my favourite Maynard James Keenan releases. The album was a brilliant evolution from “V is for Vagina” and saw the birth of Puscifer the band as opposed to the solo project. Ideas and dynamics originally glimpsed on the debut album where now fleshed out and fully realised on “Conditions of My Parole” giving the overall sound a reinvention and a new level of magic. “Conditions of My Parole” is already a very special album for me personally so to hear the album re-interpreted through these re-mixes is very exciting.
Upon first listen I was surprised at just how different the album now is. As one movement of music, the album still plays out with an incredible amount of consistency. You do indeed hear familiar sounds that link it back to the “Conditions of My Parole” album but through the re-mix process the songs have transformed into completely new vehicles of emotional communication. It is this transformation that helps establish “All Re-Mixed Up” as a standalone album in its own right.
As was the case with the original album, my highlight is the re-mix of “Oceans” which sees the song transform from an electronica mood piece to an organic swoon. This showcases the strength of the songwriting but also the way that the re-mix process can totally heighten the emotion already present.
The re-mix process has helped the original vision reach a final destination. As a lot of the press for this album has instructed, each re-mixer was told to imagine that each song was only half written and their job was to write the other half. I can safely testify as a fanatic of Puscifer that this has indeed happened. This is a brand new album and has given new life to an already flawless movement of songs. I am honestly having trouble deciding which version of the album I prefer.
In the end, this is about evolution and Maynard James Keenan has once again provided us a unique musical vehicle for us to sample the amazing emotional intelligence he uses to express himself.
“All Re-Mixed Up” is an absolutely fantastic album
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