Various Artists – How Good The World Could Be Again

3 out of 5

Label: MeWe le Disque

Produced by: Various

Hm, I’m not sure I understand what the genesis was of this – of offering up several remixes of the title track, by metal band Length of Time – but it’s an interesting, if uneven, piece of work.

The original version of the song is provided on side A, and you’d be forgiven for making assumptions about its provenance if you weren’t aware that it stemmed from a 2000 CD by a hardcore group. This is me speaking from personal experience, at least, as I have / had no no idea who Length of Time is, and the heavily reverbed, folky and acoustic track had assuming it was some kind of 70s psychedelic relic, so good on ya’, Length of Time, if that was the intention. It’s a worthwhile song on its own, but I do think it fits best as a coda to the disc on which it originally appears, which is youtubable. Here, it’s a good reference point for the mixes to follow.

…Which are, no pun intended, a mixed bag.

The A-side suffers from this the most. Jason Forrest / Donna Summer initially starts to deconstruct ‘How Good’s backing elements interestingly, but then the song devolves into the most standard of remix factors: dancefloor beats atop the original song. This is then followed by the bizarre manipulations of Fuck Uphner, which seem like an exploration of an idea that doesn’t amount to anything. Had Forrest / Donna Summer not turned their track into a rave-up, Fuck Uphner’s track might be an interesting side-by-side to the way Forrest’s song starts out, but in sequence, it’s very weird, especially as it’s followed up by a not-remix but a Spanish, rock ‘n’ roll take on the song by The Temple, which is actually really fun… but just so, so out of place. So the A-side is weird.

Thankfully, the B-side is worthy of all the spins. Both Etschaberry’s “World if Perfect” and DJ Elephant Power’s “Bionics Banjo” take the (my) preferred route of a remix and completely abolish the original through fanciful reorganizations of sounds and style. Etschaberry’s leans more into IDM, and builds and expands epically, while DJ Elephant Power’s is fitting of its name, combining electronics with acoustics for a goofily pleasing track. Jerome Van Den Bril & Band then offer up a full-on jazz session as a “Reprise,” with all of the interesting wandering and climaxes and lead-outs that entails. It’s an excellent way to wrap things up.