The Longcut - Broken Hearts EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Longcut - Broken Hearts EP

by Louise Harlow Rating:9 Release Date:2010-05-24

Introducing the 'Broken Hearts' EP, proof that one step sideways can take you about 20 forwards. Their first release of 2010 sees The Longcut eschewing new material in favour of a remix collection drawn from last autumn's 'Open Hearts' album, with blistering results.

The impressive thing about this EP is that it has taken some already pretty ruddy raw and affecting songs, strained them through seven sorts of audio manipulation and created a disco blitzing Frankenstein of a record. It opens with the titular track, which is broken down and re-imagined through three remixes over the course of the EP. Let's remember, the original 'Open Hearts' cut is no slouch, with its insistent, paranoid pulse and skeletal guitars which lay bare the vulnerability of Stuart's Ogilvie's lyric. The opening EP edit reins the original in from a sprawling 6 minutes to a lean 3, and packs twice the emotional punch. The substitution of Lee Gale's guitars for club heavy beats rewires the track firmly into the dance floor, and the frequent dialling down of the song's intensity make each following surge all the more powerful. The following Borland remix of the same track is a far more disjointed and dirty interpretation, and just when you begin to worry that the sincerity of Ogilvie's words has been lost, everything bar the drums and vocal tracks are stripped away for a genuinely affecting closing half.

The end product is less successful on the Toro Y Moi remix of 'Repeated'. The power of the 'Open Hearts' version lies not in Ogilvie's melodically limited vocal line but the systematic shift of Gale's paranoid guitars beneath, but the ambient meanderings of the remix fails to achieve the same. 'Tell You So' is given the rework treatment twice, the better of the two being the Earlies' take on the track (unless you like it super trippy and downbeat, the Gallops remix may leave you cold). Hazy synths are bled over a throbbing bass, creating a seamlessly shifting wash of sound, almost enough to drown the bleakness of the lyrical content.

So it may not all tickle your fancy, but it's a remix album, and narrow-mindedness is a bit pointless really. The killer blow of the bang-on mixes outweighs the weaker tracks, and this EP can only open up the Longcut to the wider acclaim it deserves.

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