Music » CD Reviews

Super Furry Animals

Phantom Phorce (Placid Casual/Beggars)


Like the Welsh language itself, there's something slightly off about Wales's Super Furry Animals. This remix collection of songs from SFA's sixth album, the candy-coated psych-pop opus Phantom Power (2003), only exacerbates their innate goofiness. That album's amiable orchestrations benefit from the distinctive jolts of creativity that this motley crew of hip-hoppers, electronicists, indie rockers, and IDM specialists provides.

Wauvenfold fragments "Sex, War and Robots" into a cubist, Beach Boys-like folk-rock hymn. Four Tet evokes Simon & Garfunkel gone hip-hop on "Piccolo Snare." Brave Captain (Boo Radleys' Martin Carr) turns "Bleed Forever" into sublimely yearning, dubbed-out orchestral pop. In Zan Lyons's hands, "Out of Control" becomes an eerie electronic fantasia of helium-filled vocals and scrunching, trash-compactor textures. The disc's biggest surprise is High Llamas' revamp of "Valet Parking," which answers the question, what if Brian Wilson had really freaked out on acid and had access to 21st-century technology in 1966? Phantom Phorce winds up being way more fun to listen to than its acerbically sweet source.

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