I have a really special treat for you today readers.
There have been quite a few Nina Simone remixes coming out recently as part of a Greatest Hits re-issue, and I have been pretty unimpressed. To be fair it is a hard job to take recognisable and established tracks and reimagine them in a way that is an enhancement, without killing what was special about them to begin with. That challenge is amplified when it comes to Nina – her vocals tread a fine line between power and fragility. That tension is why she is such an iconic singer, and why she is able to convey so much emotion through her voice. It is also why most remixes of her tracks seem to miss the mark.
And so how does Hot Chip get this one so right?
I get the sense they are real fans of her work. They treat the vocal with a huge amount of respect and still let it lead the energy and the tone of the track. And then behind it they build up an incredible soundscape with piano, electric guitars and a bassline so thick you can almost touch it. It gets full marks from me.