San Antonio’s …And We All Die couldn’t have offered a better surprise than their new 13-track album, Modern Day Privateers (Remixes) + Outtakes, published earlier this month! How lucky are some (few indeed) bands to see one of their songs remixed by friends with vastly different aesthetics? How lucky again are they when their new release features contributions from **deep breath** Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail, Poptone), Assemblage 23, Rodney Anonymous (Dead Milkmen), Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra), Ego Likeness, Mindless Faith, The Gothsicles, The Rain Within, Gost, and Knifight!?!!
Let’s take it from the beginning now: AWAD is a collective of musicians who formed in 2000, organized by Raymond Burton Estes. The original idea was to fuse heavy music in the vein of UK82 punk rock, hardcore, and industrial bands such as The Exploited, Integrity, and Ministry with darker melodic post-punk music by the likes of The Cure, Joy Division, and The Sisters of Mercy. They made it work and they incorporated their sonic print with punk, industrial, and post-punk grooves–always with an eye on electronic industrialism. This led to a few singles, then their self-titled 2016 debut, which included the forbidden fruit of Modern Day Privateers!
And I need you to listen to it loud first because what you’ll hear next will likely drive you insane [Editors note: Count me in], and leave you numb in front of the stereo while enjoying their friends’ achievements! Come on, here’s the original!
Damn me, that was a rude and in-the-flesh punk to post-punk track with a death-rock soul, Cat! When I discovered this album, I was like, “This is infective-dirty, I’m already telling my pals about the fever!”
And the years passed peacefully until last week when a friend passed along the new album and, once again, I was shocked: “Wwwha do you mean, 13 remixes of That song? Do I read Assemblage 23 and Ego Likeness contributing their crafts to That song? Am I correctly reading Daniel Ash (is he the Daniel Ash?) and Ben Weinman too?!?!?!”
After my shock, I started discovering the delights of the album and I can now assure you of its quality of sound and inspiration that are beyond words, yes! Every single here took the track and expanded it according to will and fantasy. Daniel Ash worked on a quite minimal approach and the effect is a no-wave industrial remix mounted on an indisputable groove on it, listen!!!
What less should I expect from Assemblage 23’s Tom Sheer who took that song and literally transformed it into one of his own’s anthems?! I am pretty jealous (though not envious) of the talent some musicians have to transform a punk-industrial song into something very different, and here A23 present a futuristic-EBM anthem. It has a video too, published on March 28, watch it and dance furiously!
Rodney Anonymous’ touch on the song is a dark electro-industrial-punk exercise with no limits in overdrive and tension, a “preacher-song,” if you will. I’d note it seems designed (remixed) for batcaves, or electronic forests–stunning! Ben Weinman, on the other hand, “heard” some industrial experimentation on the song, worked with loads of knobs and automation, didn’t care much to keep its pace and battery and present the most alternative and avant-garde motion in the album, and I’ll tell you this about it: When you listen to it more than five times you’ll notice its high artistic value!
Next, Ego Likeness’ point of view: the band from Baltimore plays dedicated industrial-darkwave music, and they practice it like true and original post-gothics as they are indeed. Their motion on the song is a striking darkwave and industrialized tornado, quite brutal and a grey sonic assault like the south wind’s menaces, unique indeed! Mindless Faith came with the most alike remix: A post-punk sleazy gem of high energy, designed to burn down every amplifier in the city honestly and loud, very loud yeah! The Gothsicles?!?!?! Well, they managed to put it on dark (of course) electro rails, put their synthwave likes in and arranged it for endless dance through the after midnight hours, brilliant and stormy! The Rain Within remix took me on the roof with a cocktail in hand and dancing to the sunset’s “horrors” to come–a synthetic wave bliss where they offer graciously their epic motion on the song, beautiful! Gost remix II is a stunning and a modern, yet retro-oriented synthwave re-work of that track, which takes it to neon lights and plastic dreams, yes sunset here again with a tremendous openness, fantastic! Knifight touched the song with an abstract hand, electronic music and quite a chill-out form based on effects mostly, but really keeping the vein of the original. And in this album of surprises that is maybe the most surprising tune!
There are three more tracks that are the outtakes and I’ll let you discover them alone. I bet that you’ll love that record which is so danceable, so versatile, so groovy, and more than a little surprising! But look who is involved…and think what made them focus and remix the original song. I believe it is the band’s originality and their song’s outstanding motion. So, here is the whole Modern Day Privateers album for you to enjoy!!!
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Written by Mike D