The Kooks’ latest work, or rather re-work, sees the original sounds of the Brighton-born quartet reincarnated in a range of collaboratively crafted remixes. The inquisitively titled remix album, ‘Hello, What’s Your Name?’ – due to be released December 4 2015 - takes a range of The Kooks’ iconic indie tracks and reworks them to produce innovative, mixed-genre music befitting of the ever expanding electro scene.
The intro bassline of ‘Creatures of Habit (Jack Beats Remix)’ instantly invites you into something unique yet uncharacteristically dance themed; an increasingly modern sound still heavily incorporating lead singer Luke Pritchard’s roguish, husky voice. Later, the album transitions into a funkier sound in ‘Sunrise (Midnitemen Remix)’, with the track’s catchy beat and fun disco vibes reminiscent of seventies music.
In ‘Backstabber (XKH remix)’ the echoing synth hits you; the drum line is just right and the vocals carefully permeate the cut up samples. This is a much slower and chilled-out track than the majority of the album and as it fades out, it will leave you longing for more.
‘Murdered and Downer (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Remix by the Amorphous Androgynous / Medley)’ is similarly a departure from the overall electronic theme of the album. Slightly bluesy with funk inspired piano and guitar, it possesses heavy vocals, trumpet and an overdriven guitar solo. A small interval in the middle of the track treats listeners to stripped back synth that builds up to an explosive sound of guitar and vocals; a welcome reminder of the roots of the band, which I can envisage them playing live.
‘Down (The Reflex Remix)’ is, in my opinion, one of the strongest songs on the album. The sharp saw toothed synths burst in and out of the background whilst the original guitar picking refuses to subside. Boasting a samba rhythm, high-energy backing singers and a clapping sequence that builds up to the bridge of the song, this track evokes the infectious flavour of a Brazilian street party.
Bringing the album full circle, ‘Are We Electric (Kove Remix)’ immerses you into a full-bodied dance track. The punchy kick hits you, the drop transforms into a mix of Pritchard’s hard hitting vocal and synths and the bridge implodes into the party anthem chorus.
‘Hello, What’s Your Name?’ is certainly a change for The Kooks; transporting listeners to upbeat Ibiza rather than the usual festival field. Though almost unrecognisable to the sound of the band we all know and love, this latest venture must be applauded as a bold and innovative project encapsulating a highly creative palette of mixed genres. Taking The Kooks in a whole new direction, there's something for everyone on this vivid album.
Words: Luke Cole