Despite being the quintessential kings of sentimental indie pop, [lastfm link_type=""]Death Cab For Cutie[/lastfm] have put the emotional, literate sound of their 2011 hit album Codes and Keys into the hands of some of the hottest remix artists of the year. The result is seven distinctly different dance songs that borrow from the songs judiciously, but are musical masterpieces of their own.
Unlike any [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Death Cab For Cutie [/lastfm]album you’ve ever heard, Keys and Codes starts with a frenetic ’80s-style percussive pulsation, unending shaker rattle, and layering of repetitive instrumentation in a definitively [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Cut Copy [/lastfm]rendition of their song “Doors Unlocked and Open.”
The remix smartly plays up on [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ben Gibbard[/lastfm]‘s sweet, fluid tenor with most of the music being sharp and lower-registered. Cut Copy also does a great job with conveying the mood of Death Cab’s lyrics. When Gibbard sings “mile marker counting down,” it’s easy to visualize the rush of neon lights on the 101.
The radio-popular “You Are A Tourist” got the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Two Bears [/lastfm]treatment with swirling video game sounds, cowbell taps, and lyric chopping. The song goes from being a plaintive indie tome to home sweet home to a quirky, magical parade of honey-drunken marching band bears.
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Andrew Maury [/lastfm]from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]RAC[/lastfm]‘s remix of “Some Boys” is decidedly sexier with an obvious bass-twang, spooky porcelain-walled echos, and a sultry rhythm. The best part of the song is the instrumental breakdown in the middle that is intro’d by an unnerving moment of silence that makes us wish that “some boys” were really “filling the hole.” RAC’s version of “Some Boys” is less a twee warning than a lusty testament.
The title-track of the original album, Codes and Keys, gets an infectious, mellow violin-laden remix from psychedelic indie pop band [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Yeasayer[/lastfm] which is actually a fabulous amuse bouche of sorts to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Dillon Francis[/lastfm]‘ explosive, amazing electro-remix of “Underneath The Sycamore.“
The song pops and pulls, sparkling with technique and still organic despite the technological workings and energy-infused dubstep/moombahton. It sounds nothing like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Death Cab For Cutie[/lastfm], but still retains the earthy spirit of the band.
The last song, “Unobstructed Views” remixed by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Unicorn Kid [/lastfm]is a crunchy synthesiser heavy 8-bit house/dubstep track that is definitely an end-of-night dance-floor melter.
Keys And Codes (Remix EP)-[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Death Cab For Cutie[/lastfm]
1. Doors Unlocked and Open [Cut Copy Remix]
2. You Are a Tourist [The 2 Bears Remix]
3. Some Boys [Rac Maury Mix]
4. Home is a Fire [Ulrich Schnauss Remix]
5.Codes and Keys [Yeasayer Remix]
6. Underneath the Sycamore [Dillon Francis Remix]
7. Unobstructed Views [Unicorn Kid Remix]