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Benny Tones - Chrysalis: The Remixes Album Review

13 Feb 2013 // A review by Alistar3000

Benny Tones, star producer and member of Wellington's Electric Wire Hustle, released a pretty solid album of electronica with 2011’s Chrysalis. This year he's looked to follow that success up by releasing an album of remixes. Where most artists would solicit remixes from other producers and musicians, then whittle them down to a selection of the best, Benny decided just to release the lot. So instead of one remix for each of Chrysalis' 14 tracks, we get four or five, making the remix album 30 tracks long.

Now I've got no problem with long albums - as long as the music can maintain interest for that long. Home Brew's album last year was a great example of that. But when you’re listening to essentially the same song four times in a row, it can be difficult to stay completely focused on it.

That's not to say that the songs are bad - the source material was great; I really enjoyed Chrysalis. And there are some great remixes of those songs here - Wellington's own Alphabethead remixing Odyssey being one of the standouts (can Alphabethead do any wrong?). Myele Manzanza and Christoph El Truento also contribute great remixes and add their own identifiable touch to the original songs (Aero:soul and the title track Chrysalis respectively). 

So it was really just the repetition that got to me as I listened through all 30 tracks in one sitting. I'd find myself zoning out through several of the tracks, as they often seemed to merge into one super-track, with little variation between the remixes. What I would have liked to have seen is the tracks split into three or four different albums, with slightly different feels - you could have an upbeat album, a mellow album and so on. Or some of the tracks left out, perhaps to be used as bonuses for the album, leaving a more manageable and smaller album to deal with. Of course, this being the age of digital music, there's nothing stopping the listener from doing just that themselves  - if you're like me you'll find yourself quickly identifying your favourites and wanting to listen to them again.

In the end I did enjoy this album, or most of it at least. As I listen to it again in the future no doubt I'll find myself skipping some tracks, but I'm bound to come back to them at other times. With 30 tracks to get through it's definitely an album that begs for repeated listens, even if it means skipping the odd track, and if you enjoy the work of Benny Tones, or are just interested in how some of our other great musicians might interpret his music, then you're sure to find something to like within the remixes.

About Benny Tones

Fondly considered as the 4th member of Wellington future soul band Electric Wire Hustle, you may have already witnessed some of the audio magic of Benny Tones without realizing it.

As Electric Wire Hustle's Sound Tech Benny has been responsible for mixing EWH's live sound since their first performance and having set up his own studio in Wellington – Organik Muzik Workz – also mixed the groups debut album last year.

As well as having chief responsibility for mixing EWH's live and studio sound, Benny Tones is also a DJ and full time Audio Engineer and has recorded and engineered for artists such as Pacific Heights, Solaa, Julien Dyne, Iva Lamkum, Harbour City Electric and Module among others at his Organik Muzik Workz Studio based in Newtown, Wellington.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Benny Tones

Releases

Chrysalis
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Earth Tones
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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