MGF Reviews iiO – Rapture Reconstruction: Platinum Edition

iiO – Rapture Reconstruction: Platinum Edition
Made Records (2/19/08)
Dance / Electronic (Trance / Techno)

An album containing 18 versions of the same song? Really?


Over the years I’ve made jokes about bands coming out with a “Greatest Hits” package… bands that don’t have the catalog or recognition to do such. For instance, a “Greatest Hits” album by King would feature 10 different versions of “Love & Pride”.

But I never actually thought I’d see it. Then again, come to think of it, Rapture Reconstruction is more of an extra-extended maxi-single rather than an actual album, as the going price of around 11 bucks would reflect.

Geared towards DJs and remix enthusiasts, this two-disc set features one disc of “classic” remixes, including some hard-to-find ones that only appeared on imports or special-edition maxi-singles. I’m not really sure what warrants a “classic”, since “Rapture” has only been around since 2001, but in this case it refers to ones that had already existed prior to the production of this collection. The other, “Reconstruction” disc features brand-new remixes by Made Records producers Starkillers, Lametta, Hardware & Orue and Friscia & Lamboy. While the former disc is actually disc two and the “Reconstruction” one is the first, it seems more logical that they would be packaged in the way in which I’ve described them. So, that said, since it’s my review, we’ll hit the second disc first…

The first track on the “Classic” disc is the remix by trance sweetheart Armin van Buuren, which is a soaring nine-minute romp that would be likely to fill most floors at most clubs. Next is the clunkier, more techno-infused Paul van Dyk remix, which has a fairly long breakdown in the middle, but remember, kids, he’s Dutch (actually, upon further investigation, I found out that he’s German, but the joke’s not quite as entertaining in that case). Deep Dish’s take on the track is decidedly darker, while being atmospheric at the same time. It’s the soundtrack to a future dystopia. It’s also the longest track on the album, clocking in at just under 11 minutes.

While the slightly housey John Creamer & Stephane K remix gets a bit boring at times, it’s not too shabby, though it gets blown out of the water by the Aloud remix, which is probably the best on the disc (yes, even better than those by the bigger names). Not only does it have a fantastic pace, but the French house elements mixed with trance make for an under-appreciated club anthem. The solid remix by Riva could be mixed with electroclash if a DJ were shameless enough to try it, while the Soulside remix is a relatively downtempo affair. The disc is closed out with the original extended remix of the track, and the collection would have been remiss not to include this.

As for the “Reconstruction” disc, the first four tracks are all remixes by Nick Terranova, a.k.a. Starkillers. The “Dirty Girl Remix” is pretty good, though it sounds almost identical to the “Undone Remix”, save for the first minute or so, but once both kick in, they’re essentially interchangeable. The other two Starkillers tracks are single edits of the two aforementioned remixes, as I declare shenanigans. So basically, the first four tracks are not only a remix of the same song, but they’re basically the same remix. Shame on everyone involved. I wish I could say that this was not the case for the two Hardware & Orue remixes—one of which is apparently a “dub”, though it sounds pretty much exactly the same as the “remix”, and both are reminiscent of DHS’s “House of God”.

Just to make sure that my ears are still working and that my brain is able to tell any discernible differences between two dance tracks, I take a break to listen Kurtis Mantronik’s MBA radio edit of EPMD’s “Strictly Business”, followed by the “Rascal Dub” of the same track…

Nope. Nothing wrong with me, which means that there’s something wrong with this album, because the two Friscia & Lamboy tracks are damn near identical. The only breath of fresh air amid all of this nonsense is the two remixes by Lametta, as the “Harmony Remix” and “Made2Chill Remix” are not only very different, but they’re also both pretty good remixes. The former combines synthpop and trance, while the latter is just as downtempo as the name would suggest.

So, basically, the “Classic” disc is pretty good, while the “Reconstruction” disc is essentially five different remixes stretched out over ten tracks. The collection is unmixed in order to be more accessible to DJs, though it may have also secretly been because Made Records knew that the “Reconstruction” disc had so many similar sounding tracks that mixing the thing would have caused listeners to make a mass pilgrimage to the Made Records offices with torches in hands. Unless you DJ this type of music, this album is far from essential to your collection, even if you like this song. The few remixes that are worth buying the thing for can be purchased on iTunes for far less, so save your money.