If you didn't think Faithless could get any more big room with their music, then think again. They just did. Regarded as producing some of the biggest nights in electronica before the recent revolution and dominance of EDM, Faithless are back to celebrate 20 years since their nascent, now allowing the names in the industry to remix their classics into the songs that will satisfy the biggest electronic festivals around the planet.
Calling in A list names such as Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, Above And Beyond, Eric Prydz and Axwell among others, the album has been given a contemporary make over, using the highest quality DJ's from house, trance and dnb to return Faithless to the masses.
The album at first seems to be about the numbers. The group are celebrating 20 years, the album is entitled 2.0. It's 2 CDs long - one remix album, one greatest hits. And all the remixed tracks are considered second generation, entitled 'insomnia 2.0' for example.
The remixes are the albums main attraction, each track features standout moments and appear to be the part that are generating the most buzz. Radio releases have all been of the remixed album, and it is about time Faithless re-entered the dance scene. Everything seems perfectly time for their reappearance. In Lord of the Rings terminology, this would be the equivalent to The Return of the King.
Considering how Maxi Jazz and company dominated the 90's, they (along with the likes of Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers) helped turn 90's rave into something more mainstream and popular, it is more than bizarre to comprehend their absence from the current world of EDM. Yes they have played Radio 1's 20 year anniversary in Ibiza this year, however apart from that, the best new, young and adolescent ravers had to except with was the occasional faithless mix in a club. They had almost become elusive.
Now they are back, albeit with no new material, probably the albums only downside. Though with a new European tour, including selling out the Alexandria Palace in 50 minutes, maybe this will inspire Faithless into finally delivering their fans some new material.
Sure enough, there will always be pessimistic aficionados who don't believe in remixing such classics songs for such public release, but it doesn't matter, the album is excellent, with every mix working sublimely well, and in their own personalised way. It is a very intelligent method of publicising Faithless to the mass swarm of electronic fans that now dominate the world, that may not have known them too well before, if at all - using all their favourite DJ's to attract them.
And to cement any new interest, CD2 is their greatest hits. Entice and hook. Someone give the marketing manager a high five.
Avicii kicks off the album with his twist on arguably their biggest hit 'Insomnia' and though it must've been quite a pressure to deliver something good Avicii pulls it off, however the radio edit doesn't do it any justice. Avicii slows down the lyrics slightly, making the voice very deep, providing a different vision, hoping to escape the instant connection everyone has with Maxi's lyrics in the song. Though when the chorus drops to the famous 'Insomnia' beat, it's more than nostalgic, it's horripilation.
Former and multiple winner of DJ Mag's top 100, Armin van Buuren rips 'We come One' apart, slightly raising the BPM, making the most euphoric parts of the tune even more so, giving it that trance vibe, some emotional drops and pumping beats. One of the best remixes on the album.
Tiesto had the honour of remixing 'God is a DJ', another classic. It would be interesting to know how they chose which DJ for which song. Naturally, the veteran doesn't fail amalgamating a head popping whistling beat throughout with plenty of additional drops. Tiesto seems to love a drop on this remix.
High Contrast provides a high contrast in electronic music when compared to the rest of 2.0, considerably turning up the BPM to dnb standard for 'Muhammad'. With house and trance DJ's surrounding the track; it is a little out of place, though the breaks and lyrical chorus keep the standard of remixing where it needs to be.
'Salva Mea,' one of Faithless' most epic tunes, was shown the needle by trance gods Above and Beyond. Known for their highly emotional and euphoric music, they delicately change the tune, providing a soothing back drop to the synths and keyboard that make 'Salva Mea'.
Eric Prydz turns 'Not going home' into an eight minute house tune, whilst Booka Shade uses a slightly more underground approach of house to redefine his version of Faithless' Tarantula.
Axwell, one third of ex-super group Swedish House Mafia does everything on would expect from the Swede, whilst Autograf provides a beautiful sound created by violins to push the tempo of 'Drifting Away.'
For fans who already own all the classics, this is still worth purchasing, and will no doubt rejuvenate that old love you had for them without ruining what they once meant to you. For those who don't own the classics, you are in luck, as you now have two fantastic discs to go through, getting to discover a whole CD of their greatest hits, whilst having the best in the land mix them up.
It's amazing how none of their music seems dated at all. With these official remixes, it does give a whole renaissance of their work. A second coming almost. Let's just hope they don't do a Daft Punk and disappear for another decade.
Official Site - http://www.faithless.co.uk/