Weak Become Heroes Remixes
Original Pirate Material, the first album from the Streets, represents one of the last great shifts in British music, fusing UK Garage with rap and Mike Skinner’s evocative tales of harsh urban life pushed to the front. These days, Skinner’s out with his follow-up album, but that’s no reason to ignore this EP of remixes of one of the best songs from his debut disc. “Weak Become Heroes” bears all the trademarks of a Streets track: sardonic and acerbic storytelling underlined by jagged, pushing dance rhythms, with a brilliantly naïve, übercatchy chorus to ensure the song sticks in your mind for a long while.
Apart from the great-as-it-is original version, we get three different mixes here. 3 Fans brings along Lisa Shaw to do chorus vocals for their two mixes, both of which stress the inherent danceability of the original track. The “vocal rerub” mix is the most efficient of the two, 3 Fans throwing together one of those tracks that’s guaranteed to win over the chic London club crowd. The “dub rerub” version is rather similar to the first mix, only with fewer parts and a more repetitive approach, sounding strangely at odds with Skinner’s vocal tracks.
Royksopp pull out a mix that’s more faithful to the sinister nature of the original version, all the while draping their regular wall of sound around the original’s rather minimal instrumentation to create a remarkably coherent meeting point for the two very different artists’ expressions. Not as danceable as the 3 Fans’ mixes, but more in tune with the mood of the original version, and ultimately the most satisfying listening experience of the three.