Meg Lee Chin
Below the Belt is a remix album based on the tracks
from A New High in Low. The problem
with reviewing remix albums is at what point do you review
it for its own merit as a stand-alone album or as a compliment
to the original. Below the Belt is one such quandary
in that it really can be viewed as both, but reviewing it
as either might limit it.
For anyone who's familiar with the Industrial/Experimental
group Pigface, headed up by mastermind Martin Atkins,
an album full of unusual, trendy and off-the-beaten path tracks
is of no surprise. Songs laden with strong drum beats layered
with guitars and electronics (samples, keyboards) are the
norm, but the occasional interspersing of new concepts are
not unheard of.
In comparison to the original album, Below the Belt
is a fine change of pace. Curse Mackey's remix of Radio
Bagpipe is a nice evolution of the original track, using
the main sound theme and adding more to it, bringing more
life to the piece. Hanzel Und Gretyl's handling of
Nutopia is also a nice change of pace; taking the heavily
rock influenced track and infusing it with a steady electronic
While some tracks retain the integrity of the actual songs,
others diverge, using some of the elements, but refocusing
the concept of the track. Quoit's rending of More
is almost void of the original tone of the track, but plays
up the drumbeat and adds snippets from the actual track. First
Taken Third Found, redone by JF Coleman, focuses
on the primal drums, processing them through synthesizers
to achieve its final sound.
What it comes down to is that there really is no new music
here. The remixes really only put a fresh new paint job on
the original tracks. The great thing, though, is that the
remixes don't try to put a "popular" face on the songs. The
album is as eclectic as the original. If you like remix albums
or loved the original, this album is a good purchase. For
those who don't like remixes, this will not change your mind.
Below the Belt is a dark evolution away from mainstream.