2001's Feminist Sweepstakes saw Le Tigre fortifying insistent melodies with the electro-punch of beats, loops and samples. Now the inevitable remix EP has reared its (well programmed) head.
With the exception of "Mediocrity Rules" and "Deceptacon" (which have been pried loose from Le Tigre's first two releases), the tracks are taken from Feminist Sweepstakes. Initially, the notion of DJs digitally tampering with Le Tigre's work to make the songs more danceable seemed absurd because, frankly, their tunes are already delectably geared to move your limbs and feet. (In a hybrid-rock kind of fashion, admittedly.)
Most of the DJs involved on Remix 12" seem to fit Le Tigre's brief of tapping into electronic music to further feminist practices. Analog Tara, AKA Tara Rodgers, who is responsible for the EP's souped-up opener, "Tres Bien (Nouveau Disco Mix)," is a house producer who edits "Pink Noises," a Webzine focused on women in electronic music. Detroit-based drum 'n' bass DJ Lauren Flax puts on a club night for women named Femme Fatale, and turns in the stand-out track on Remix 12". Her "Much Finer (the Flaxdatass Mix)" centers on sulky basslines, looped yells, crunchy guitar snarls and doleful hooks.
Two-step New York DJ Reid Speed bumps up the nervous tics of "Dyke March 2001" and fleshes out the drum 'n' bass on her "Aphro-Dykey Mix." Meanwhile, under the banner of side project Swim With the Dolphins, Le Tigre's Johanna Fateman whips up a remix of "On Guard" fueled with digital urgency and percussive pluck.
Ironically, it's the remix of "Mediocrity Rules" (courtesy of DJ Ham & Rye) which is the EP's lowlight. It comes across as one-note and flat, and there are moments when Remix 12" seems prone to Regulation Remix Syndrome are the songs there just for the novelty of being remixed, or do they work as effective standalone tracks?
So while Feminist Sweepstakes took out Top-10-album-of-the-annum honors last year, Remix 12" is fun, but not as essential.