When Remixes Mix Too Far
An album can be problematic if it sounds like something that could be played at both Hot Topic and Abercrombie and Fitch. Granted, Kid606 and Jesse Quattro’s recent collaboration Outside is intentionally an EP of vastly different musical styles since seven of the nine tracks are other artists’ remixes of the first two songs. Unfortunately, this is only an effective approach to an EP if each remix can notably stand out from one another.
Listeners are first given Kid606’s and Jesse Quattro’s original tracks “Outside” and “Holiday” as a foundation for the album, though both are a misleading introduction as a whole. “Outside” sounds more like an indie rock song with its one-track, half-beat rhythm and two-chord, synthpop guitar riff. “Holiday” achieves the same effect as it begins with meandering “la-da-doo-da’s” from Quattro’s understated voice and a simple, vamping bass line.
After “Holiday,” the rest of the album diverges in a completely different direction. Remixes of “Outside” feature Axxo’s nonsensical, wobbly dub noises, BadXman’s “Doomsday Dub” sprinkled with ambient dub textures, and Kid606’s own “Fuzzstep” restyling (which leans towards an industrial style rather than the hinted spin-off of dubstep). “Holiday” seems more successfully remixed as artists like Strategy instill a progressive house energy in the track that sounds appropriate for its original style. Others from Cardopusher and HECQ display no form, rhyme, or reason for the mix and err on the side of mixing for mixing’s sake.
Overall, Outside EP does little to offer a solid set of remixes for two average songs. Half the time it’s hard to tell whether a track off the album is playing or if it’s a YouTube user’s Fruityloops masterpiece that vaguely references Kid606 and Quattro’s work together.