21/02/2024

Timmy Reviews Head Like a Kite’s: Remix the Classics

Head Like A Kite: Remix the Classics

Step one:  Gather a red leather jacket with matching glove, a bat’s head (must be bitten off), a polka-dot flying V, a Moog synthesizer, a 1970’s protest song, a 68 year old androgynous Brit with big teeth, and a panda bear wearing a red scarf (for vegetarians, substitute panda with stuffed panda plushy).

Step two: Place them in a blender and push PUREE.

Step three: Pour contents into a milkshake glass (if there is extra put it in a large metal cup) and give it to Dave Einmo of Seattle’s Head Like a Kite (or HLAK if you are in the know). Now wait…

Ok, so you don’t really need everything listed above but Dave Einmo equipped with a Moog would be a good start. And of course it goes without saying that I am not a proponent of reducing the numbers of a dwindling species just for a good remix album, but I am at a loss of how to start this review without diluting its integrity with praise. But the truth is I have nothing bad to say about Remixing The Classics (RtC) by Head Like a Kite.

First off, a very cool (not the coolest) fact about this E.P. is it’s FREE! RtC is available only as a digital download from HLAK’s website so upon your finishing of this review go download it. Click here → http://www.headlikeakite.com/covers/

Typical of each new HLAK release, Remixes the Classics remains true to the character while adding a fresh spin on their sound.  The opening track, Ohio of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fame, gets the party started with a glitchy synth line clean-cut enough to get any audiophile’s head bobbing like a waddling pigeon. Track 2, The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter is a perfectly balanced mash-up between elements from the original and Dave’s signature disco beats and skillful Moog wielding. This track would make a great opener for a DJ set or a dance party mix-tape.

HLAK is well known for their incorporating guest singers to accompany Dave, or outright take over for him as front man; Asya from Smoosh, Zera Marvel, Tilson and Graig Markel are a few of the heavy hitters who add flavor not only to the studio albums but also live performances. But track 3 of RtC offers up a unique duet partner few, if any, HLAK fans could have ever anticipated; David Lee Roth! Another mash-up of the original tracks backed by Einmo’s electronic spice (this time we get a vocoder); Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin Bout Love is the highest energy tune of the lot. However, what I found most enticing about the tune is it’s unexpected breakdown that brings a dark feel to the otherwise upbeat nature of the original.

The last track, a mash-up of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid and Rockwell’s (featuring Michael Jackson) Somebody’s Watchin Me. This is hands-down my favorite track on RtC. Here Einmo takes liberties with the cadence of the lyrics from Paranoid, creating his own melody over the backbeat of Somebody’s Watchin Me (which of course is enhanced ever so slightly with a few new synthy textures).  The pinnacle of the song, and possibly the entire collection of remixes, is brought to the listener by the incorporation of 2 surprise samples from a couple of very popular classic rock songs; The names of which I will not say. GO FIND OUT YOURSELF!

If you enjoy pop-driven electronic indie rock then I cannot recommend Remixing The Classics highly enough. If you are a HLAK fan then there is no question: you will love it.  If this is the first you have heard of HLAK then do yourself a favor and go download this (it’s free after all) and check out their previous 3 studio albums as well as Einmo and Asya Smoosh’s collaboration Daydream Vacation.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for supporting your northwest artists.

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