Title - 'The Age of Remix' (3CD Edition)
Artist - Bronski Beat
For those not in the know, Bronski Beat is a British synth pop trio which achieved success in the mid-1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit "Smalltown Boy", from their debut album The Age of Consent, which was their only US Billboard Hot 100 single.
All members of the group were openly gay and their songs reflected this, often containing political commentary on gay-related issues.
The initial line-up, which recorded the majority of the band's hits, consisted of Jimmy Somerville (vocals), Steve Bronski (keyboards, percussion) and Larry Steinbachek (keyboards, percussion).
However, Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and went on to have success as lead singer of The Communards and as a solo artist. He was replaced by new vocalist John Foster, with whom the band continued to have hits in the UK and Europe through 1986.
But then Foster left Bronski Beat after their second album, and the band used a series of vocalists before dissolving in 1996.
Steve Bronski, the only original member, now leads a revived touring version of the band, and alongside '90s member Ian Donaldson, has recorded new material for release.
Released March 30th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), The Age of Remix: 3CD Edition is a strictly limited edition 3-disc dance remix companion set to the recent Bronski Beat release The Age Of Reason.
1. NO MORE WAR (LE∆THER STRIP REMIX)
2. IT AINíT NECESSARILY SO (MAZAI REMIX)
3. LOVE & MONEY (SCANDALL ĎNí ROS REMIX)
4. JUNK (HATIRASí SPACEDISCO REMIX)
5. HARD RAIN (CEVíS REMIX)
6. A FLOWER FOR DANDRA (ROB MOORE REMIX)
7. SMALLTOWN BOY (GETTOBLASTER REMIX)
8. HEATWAVE (DWAYNE MINARD HOUSE MIX)
9. WHY? (GABRY VENUS REMIX)
10. IíLL BE GONE (MATHEY B REMIX)
11. RUN FROM LOVE (DIRTY DISCO MAINROOM REMIX)
12. NEED A MAN BLUES (ZURRA REMIX)
13. SCREAMING (DEANNE CLUB MIX)
1. SMALLTOWN BOY (DARIO TRAPANI REMIX)
2. LOVE & MONEY (OGGIE B REMIX)
3. IT AINíT NECESSARILY SO (VINCENT CAIRA REMIX)
4. JUNK (BABERT REMIX)
5. WHY? (HP VINCE DUB)
6. CLOSE TO THE EDGE (MVZZIK REMIX)
7. RUN FROM LOVE (SORDID SOUNDZ DUB)
8. HARD RAIN (SPACE CITY REMIX)
9. A FLOWER FOR DANDARA (JOSE JIMENEZ REMIX)
10. STARS (PEOPLE THEATREíS MILKY WAY MIX)
11. IíLL BE GONE (INTERFACE REMIX)
12. SMALLTOWN BOY (BABERT REMIX)
CONTINUOUS MIX BY SORDID SOUNDZ FEATURING:
SMALLTOWN BOY (BABERT REMIX)
NEED A MAN BLUES (ZURRA REMIX)
LOVE & MONEY (OGGIE B REMIX)
HEATWAVE (DWAYNE MINARD HOUSE MIX)
IíLL BE GONE (MATHEY B REMIX)
WHY? (QUBIQ DEEP CLUB MIX)
HARD RAIN (CEVíS REMIX)
RUN FROM LOVE (DIRTY DISCO MAILROOM REMIX)
CLOSE TO THE EDGE (MVZZIK REMIX)
A FLOWER FOR DANDARA (JOSE JIMENEZ REMIX)
IT AINíT NECESSARILY SO (DIGITAL ANODYNE REMIX)
STARS (PEOPLE THEATREíS HAPPINESS MIX)
JUNK (TWEAKA TURNER TECH HOUSE MIX)
This enormous (both tracklisting and actual run time) album features the much loved electronic actís most recent singer; the powerful soul-pop, multi octave ranged Stephen Granville.
The Age Of Remix reorientates Bronski Beatís recent The Age Of Reason album Ė itself a contemporary remake of Bronski Beatís landmark debut album The Age Of Consent (are you keeping up with all this ... good, then I'll continue) Ė for the electronic dancefloor of today.
Featuring no less than 25 full throttle, all new and previously unreleased remixes from a plethora of current crack dance floor remixers, The Age Of Remix is a celebration of the continuing impact and relevance of one of the most venerated, era-defining and important albums of both synth-pop and LGBT history.
Personally, for me, I loved the original album, thought the follow-up was a decent, and inventive stab at some nice reworkings (and also allowed them to showcase their new singer), but I don't quite know why they needed to bring this 3CD set out of remixes; if I'm being brutally honest.
I genuinely get, and can appreciate, that on both the last album and this 3CD set that Bronski Beat are still paying homage to the origins of the original line-up, here through an inventive and inspired reworking of their landmark debut album, but the question still remains why?
Why not a new album and move on? Sure, and again, somewhat crucially, they also present a template for the future direction of this latest Bronski Beat line-up, but why harp back to this debut, when they had already nodded to it on Age of Reason?
Anyway, that all aside, listening to all these songs aplenty here, and it's evidently clear that new singer Stephen Granville's vocals, and even range is somewhat smoother than Sommerville's. Not that that is a bad thing, no, but it does mean we get a more relaxed, less chased set of tracks here on these first two CDs.
Back in its day, Age of Consent was a right royal pioneering gay rights album. Wearing its distained contempt for different age of consent laws for different sexes proudly on its sleeve, Bronski Beat revolutionized what could be called, in essence, "punk" for the era.
For me, the standout tracks here (no matter who sings them or what kind of a remix has been entwined around and within them) are "Smalltown Boy", which documents the isolation and coldness a gay teen feels when coming to terms with his sexuality; "Why?", which is sung with a kind of sneer, implicating the lazy-minded and the just plain ignorant in the persecution of simple love; and also "Junk", which highlights, with samples from commercials running at the time, the excesses of consumerism and the 'nouveau riche' mentality so prevalent and preferred in the '80s.
The third disc in this deluxe 3 1/2 hour set is a bonus continuous mix by Sordid Soundz, also known as Bronski Beat programmer Ian Donaldson, which itself contains some exclusive snippets of further previously unreleased mixes.
'The Age of Remix' 3CD Purchase Link
'The Age of Reason' CD Purchase Link