Puscifer All Re-Mixed Up Album Review
Puscifer’s remix record, All Re-Mixed Up takes the already superb Conditions of My Parole and turns each song on its end to spit out something completely original, and in some instances, better than Puscifer’s recorded versions.
The 12 songs are remastered, and in some aspects, re-imagined by a number of prominent musicians from Aaron Harris, drummer of post-metal band Isis, to “Baby Got Back” hip hop pioneer Sir Mix-A-Lot. I will admit, that I have never been a fan of remix albums. I will take my elitist stance that I like to hear the songs as they were produced by the original musicians, not someone who has come along to make cheaper and watered-down versions of songs that I might hold dear to my heart. With my opinions firmly set, yet with an objective stance, I listened to All Remixed Up and changed my mind.
It seems that all Maynard touches turns to gold, even if Maynard isn’t pulling the strings. I also have felt that sometimes the only way to review a remix record is to compare it to the mother record, I have also changed my mind on that issue with this album firmly standing by itself, and as a great companion to the original record. These musicians have taken already beautiful, jagged, landscapes and taken them to a whole new level. These songs are extensions of the originals with each remix feeling like a brand new composition.
Standout tracks include the Josh Eustis remix “Monsoons-JLE Motorik Mix” which offers electronic butterflies around a moving, and danceable bass-line. It helps that Eustis is one half of the ambient duo, Telefon Tel Aviv. The moving Alain Johannes mixed “Man Overboard-11AD remix” is a lesson in discomfort. The “Oceans-Green Mussels Mix” happens to be one of the most sincerely beautiful songs in the Maynard James Keenan library. Zac Rae from the rock band Pedestrian offers up a version of this haunting composition that, can be argued, is better than the original. Maynard’s voice floats over a lost piano anchored by what feels like solitude. I am impressed with the idea, and a little disappointed in myself that I did not give this record a fair chance upon hearing of its release.
The metal heads and Keenan elitists that are asking the question of what Puscifer is and how it relates to Tool and A Perfect Circle will be scratching their heads for some time, and I think that might be the point.