CD Review

Backlash – “Lodestar”

By Marcus Pan

LodestarNew Order fans take note. Backlash is as strongly New Orderish that I had to check the CD case more than once. That's not a complaint, mind, as the Lodestar EP is quite good. Unlike most remix-single releases, Lodestar having four versions on this CD, all are very differentiated and make for a good release nonetheless, two from winners of the remix contest held by WTII Records. Also included here are the previous unreleased Man of a Different World and new mixes of Purity for a Sinner and Splinter (from Heliotrope). A release of Heliotrope with a bonus CD is scheduled for release as I write this (May, 2005).

The P Remix of Lodestar is smooth and proper with a perfect throwback to early 80s new wave and synthpop. The Love is In the Ear Mix is probably the best with its mixtures of jazz and disco and 70s dance sensibilities. A real refreshing track that takes lots of decade old stylings and mesmerizes it into a fresh sounding collection. It has that Parliament Funkadelic groove but remains new wave at its core with lots of surprising discothèque bleatings. The bubbly bright center breakdowns of the Love is in the Ear version remind me strongly of music out of David Bowie's Labyrinth.

The Eliasson Remix of Lodestar gets futuristic and EBMish, adding a lot of swift moving sliding synth accompaniment. And lastly, the Hummelman Acoustic mix is sweet and melancholic, but with it's placement on track 4 causes an unwelcome stall in the swift moving music from the first three mixes and the following Purity For a Sinner. It would have gone wonderfully at the opening (to build up from) or close (to wind down with) of the EP.

Getting fast and furiously funky again is the Kill Something Mix of Purity For a Sinner. Metal laced vocals combine with the surrounding swift synthesizer pulses and the melodies for some reason remind me of an old video game...Pengo I think it was.

A good release and worth the money if you enjoy New Order or find any of what I said so far interesting. Many of you will wait for the Heliotrope release, as will I, but DJs and play list makers should consider picking up the Lodestar EP for the four great takes on the Lodestar song itself.

Contact Information:
WTII Records, LLC
Post: PO Box 13495, Chicago, IL, 60613, USA
Phone: (773) 755-2415

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