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Fluffhouse review of Parallel Universe Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 June 2004
Originally published at http://www.fluffhouse.org.uk/musicreviews/album.php?albumid=417

"Parallel Universe" couples a CD of remixes of each track from their excellent album "After Everything Now This" with a disc of unreleased songs from the same period. Remix albums are sometimes pointless milking, and sometimes worthy works in themselves, but this effort is sort of half way in between. The dance beats (why does "remix" always mean "dance-ify?") and tricksy sampling and splicing work to variable extents here.

Perhaps predictably the album's less memorable tracks such as "Seen It Coming" and "Radiance" aren't much improved by being fiddled around with. "Night Friends" loses all its power from having that big broad riff amputated from it. On the other hand, we have "Stay All Night" an inspired reinterpretation of "Song for the Asking", and the colourful "Numbers" remix, here called "Let Y=X". One of the most interesting tracks from the original album, "Reprieve" is transformed smoothly into an extended space-out, " ", reminiscent of Porcupine Tree.

I'd sum it up with the obvious statement that you should invest most of your time in getting to know "After Everything Now This", and if you turn out to be a fan, then fine, the remixes here are worth it. Even if you're not fussed about remixes, the disc of non-album material has some rare juicy songs which fans should lap up eagerly. I'm not convinced by the trippy noodle "1st Woman on the Moon", but "Espionage" is a slinky song with a great tune sung casually by Steve Kilbey. "Reward" is a nice little piece unusually featuring Peter Koppes on vocals. This mini-album ends on a melodramatic note with some gothic dynamic contrasts from guitarist Marty Willson-Piper on "Twin Stars"

7 out of 10

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