Review: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night Remixed

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Although it won't blow your mind, this 12-track collection of the some of the best alternative versions of HONNE's July debut is a nice Christmas bonus.

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Of all the albums shortlisted for The Edge‘s Top Albums of 2016, such was the quality and polish of the HONNE’s Warm On A Cold Night that it is perhaps the least demanding of a remixed re-release. Yet, while this unexpected December offering may be superfluous, it’s nonetheless an interesting selection – across the twelve tracks we have three versions of ‘Gone Are The Days’ and two each of the title track and ‘FHKD.’ Sadly omitted are ‘The Night,’ surely the track with the most potential for such a treatment, and ‘3am,’ which appeared on the deluxe edition of the July release.

As might be expected, ‘Someone That Loves You,’ the pair’s collaboration with rising star Izzy Bizu and the original record’s most radio-friendly entry, features – albeit just once. It’s a mystery as to why both of these artists haven’t received greater public acclaim in 2016, however it seems unlikely the remix from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard will do anything to remedy that. While pleasant enough, his version feels like one of those SoundCloud exclusives that an up-and-coming producer might use to bolster a mix rather than one that has earned a commercial release. Similarly, few of Remixed‘s edits come close to bettering Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher’s original arrangements.

Easily the strongest reworking of the aforementioned ‘Gone Are The Days’ is by a man named Henry Smithson – a chap from Newcastle perhaps better known as Riton. His remix is right on, affording the track a new lease of life not offered by either MXXWLL or SOHN – their distilled, aimless takes exemplify much of what Remixed has to offer. ‘Coastal Love’ is another favourite from Warm On A Cold Night, but the remeddled version courtesy of Klaves (which translates as “keys”) does little to reinforce this. A new hook offers a little salvation but cannot fool – this is yet another sparse reimagining that numbs the senses more than anything else. Mid-album stocking filler ‘All In The Value’ was never a particularly strong link, and here Dutch-born Filip matches the original for quality with a remix that Porter Robinson could have put his name to. This certainly isn’t weaker; neither is it any better. Listenable, but that’s about it.

Joining Riton’s ‘Gone Are The Days’ in the top three tracks included in Remixed by quite a margin are the take on the eponymous entry by gnash & 4e and September’s Kill J-featuring rendition of ‘FHKD.’ These are both part of a select band that actually try something different with their respective source material, rather than a slowed down, vocals-centric, John Lewis-esque take, and they’re all the better for it. The new guitar and rhythm section parts on this version of ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ are extremely memorable; The Edge has already expressed its appreciation for the Kill J edition of ‘FHKD,’ but it’s worth repeating what a solid single it makes. Not quite an upgrade of the album version, its countermelodies are still more than welcome as a delicate alternative. This makes Remixed as a whole all the more underwhelming – this is a very mixed bunch, with some tracks addictively enticing and others which are far too slow and apathetic for their own good. There is good material to be found here, but unfortunately Warm On A Cold Night Remixed is by no means an essential listen.

Warm On A Cold Night Remixed is out now via Tatemae Recordings and Atlantic Records

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SUSUtv's Head of Design & Graphics, Union Southampton designer and third year Ship Science student in my spare time. Once described by Alex Smith as "really useful" 👌

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