With Daft Punk’s pedigree, at least a remix or two of the electronica duo’s music from Tron Legacy was inevitable. But trying to get remixes of that soundtrack to sustain over an entire album? That’s a trickier proposition.
I’m going to admit up front that I have a bias when it comes to remixing: either add something new and interesting or surprising to the original piece, or weave the original into something new and interesting that’s just as compelling… or stay home. It’s not enough for my ears for someone to just slap a beat on top of something. (As you can imagine, this means I can swing from loving it to hating it during the track change on any given remix collection.)
And it’s even pretty easy to figure out which tracks from the original soundtrack will be reworked: “Derezzed”, “End Of Line Club” and the already-heavily-percussive end credits were always going to be early favorites, simply because they’ve already got a beat. But it’s the remixers who go off that predictably beaten path who got my attention on this album.
Paul Oakenfold is no stranger to film scoring himself (Swordfish) and he’s certainly no stranger to electronica, and he turns the already mesmerizing track “CLU” into a mesmerizing track with a hypnotic beat and synths that aren’t constantly competing with what’s already present in the original track. I also applaud both remixes of the not-so-obvious “Son Of Flynn” – both Moby and Ki:Theory manage to bolt some interesting complementary sounds onto it. Kaskade’s reworked “Rinzler” is nice too, speeding up the pace considerably and adding layers that don’t feel out of place.
On the flipside, there are tracks that fall flat for me. “The Fall” is a challenging piece to tackle, since it has a rising tone that, in the movie, built the tension during a scene in a plummeting elevator. That almost-jet-engine-like sound would pose a challenge for any remixer, but the choices made for the M83 vs. Big Black Delta remix of “The Fall” are truly bizarre, taking an already-noisy track and going even further off the deep end.
And as obvious as “Derezzed” seems for the remix treatment, the Glitch Mob remix falls strangely flat; a later reworking by Avicii is better, but it goes off in a completely different direction until the song’s melody is completely transformed into something else.
Maybe a better, and more challenging, approach would’ve been to take the same tack as the track-for-track various artists tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours several years ago: recreate, track for track and in order, the entire original soundtrack in remix form, rather than winding up with two versions of “Derezzed”, two versions of “Son Of Flynn”, and so on. It’s just possible that such an approach wouldn’t have attracted the prodigious remixing talent that’s on display here, though. Tron Legacy: Reconfigured (or “R3C0NF1GUR3D” as the cover would have it) is half diamonds and half rough, and a bit disjointed – listen to it in little chunks, not all in one sitting.
- Derezzed (The Glitch Mob Remix) (4:22)
- Fall (M83 vs. Big Black Delta Remix) (3:54)
- The Grid (The Crystal Method Remix) (4:27)
- Adagio For Tron (Teddybears Remix) (5:34)
- The Son Of Flynn (Ki:Theory Remix) (4:51)
- C.L.U. (Paul Oakenfold Remix) (4:35)
- The Son Of Flynn (Moby Remix) (6:32)
- End Of Line (Boys Noize Remix) (5:40)
- Rinzler (Kaskade Remix) (6:52)
- ENCOM Part 2 (Com Truise Remix) (4:52)
- End Of Line (Photek Remix) (5:18)
- Arena (The Japanese Popstars Remix) (6:07)
- Derezzed (Avicii Remix) (5:03)
- Solar Sailer (Pretty Lights Remix) (4:32)
- Tron Legacy End Titles (Sander Kleinenberg Remix) (5:04)
Released by: Disney Music
Release date: 2011
Total running time: 77:43