Music Reviews

Red Snapper


Lo / Bubblecore

Red Snapper blurred the line between electronica and pop music when they first entered the British club scene in the early ’90s, bewildering critics and fans alike, unable to tell if they were an electronic band dabbling in acoustic instrumentation or a pop trio using computers and samples. More than ten years later, those distinctions really shouldn’t matter. Even if they do, Red Snapper isn’t that alone doing these things today – except from the fact that acid jazz isn’t very cool these days.

In the battle between electronica and pop music, Redone picks sides in a way that Red Snapper has never really done before. Then again, this is a remix album, so it was pretty unavoidable. For the first time, Red Snapper are being presented as more or less “pure” electronic artists, their songs reconfigured to fit with the band’s less instrumentally gifted followers.

The result is rather dreary; this could’ve been made by just about anyone coming out of the British club scene in the mid-to-late ’90s making music for trendy coffeebars and chill-out zones. The tracks chosen for this project are mainly drawn from Red Snapper’s last (and, some will have it, final) album, 2003’s self-titled release. Suffice it to say, the original album is a far better investment if you want to hear one of the few remaining acid jazz bands of any relevance at all.

This is not to suggest that Redone doesn’t have anything to show for itself. This is a perfectly good album in the vein of most British ’90s chill out music, and Red Snapper’s music is solid enough to shine through even on the most lackluster remixes here. The more subdued tracks work great, with the band members’ own re-workings being, rather unsurprisingly, among the more focused on here. But most of these remixes just don’t have the excitement of Red Snapper’s original versions, lacking both the dynamics and the sense of wonderment that was there in the first place, here reduced to competent but quite boring shadows of their former selves. It’s a good album for any lazy Sunday spent indoors, but that can be said about oh-so-many albums. There’s no reason why you should pick this one up unless you’ve already got Red Snapper’s other releases.

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