Decca Re:works [Compilation]


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A TAV Curator's Pick.

Re:works is the result of a groundbreaking project that sees the rich catalogue of Decca Classics being opened to some of the world’s most innovative electronic artists. Composers including Satie, Bach, Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Reich meet Starkey, Kate Simko and the London Electric Orchestra, Mr Scruff and many more. Each electronic artist has been free to select recordings from the Decca Classics catalogue from which to work with resulting in an eclectic album of music. – Press Release

“Not since Wendy Carlos took a Moog to Johann Sebastian Bach in the epic 1968 LP Switched-On-Bach has classical music been given such a thorough electronic makeover as it has now on Decca’s new compilation of remixes.

This is of course a huge exaggeration. In the last fifty years these diametric genres have dovetailed from the birth of minimalism and experimental electronics to something like what we know call contemporary classical.

Even our most recent VF mix by German composer Hauschka finds space for both Glenn Gould and St. Vincent on the tracklist.

Certainly not one for the purists, Re:works is the latest release to give the grand masters a new lick, inviting producers whose work already draws on classical music like Ulrich Schnauss, Francesco Tristano and Henrik Schwarz to provide new forms from original Decca recordings.

Among them is VF collaborator Kate Simko, whose own debut with the London Electronic Orchestra seeks to find kindred spirit in both forms.

While some of the pairings seem intuitive – like Simko’s rework of Schubert’s Schwanengesang – others are a little more leftfield, with Mr Scruff invited to take apart Steve Reich’s Six Pianos and former Planet Mu regular Starkey tasked with Satie’s Gnossienne No.1.” – The Vinyl Factory

“Classical compositions and dance music have a strange alliance. The past year has seen it coming in full force through a surge of clubnights colliding with orchestras (read this reviewer's experience of Cream's classical showcase), but its always had a natural fit within the music.

On one side of the spectrum there's Clean Bandit's shiny disposable string led pop, with the likes of Nils Frahm's astute piano genius much further down the other side. Now Decca have commissioned reworks aplenty of their classical backpack for a compilation that is, for the most, rooted in the latter, featuring ambient electronic takes and straighter dancefloor focused workouts of a number of timeless pieces.

Some of the music is a little too brooding and abstract to these ears, but when it works it's very good. Thomas Gandey takes Gustav Holst's 'Neptune', one of the more serene compositions from the composer's iconic Planets Suite, and turns it into a lovely shuffling deep house groove - one that owes as much to Laurent Garnier as it does the whimsical original.

Steve Reich's 'Drumming' seems an obvious choice for a techno remake - what with it's spellbinding intricate percussion - so whilst Patrice Baumel loses some of the subtlety on his version, he manages to craft a brilliant high octane banger. Mr Scruff also gets to work on the same composer's 'Six Pianos', a compellingly electronic but charming rework which takes the startling original in a different direction.

There's also Francesco Tristano rescuing Sakamoto's 'Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence' from it's earlier incarnation as a euro-trance outing as Watergate's Heart of Asia, but the real star of the show falls to arguably the most worthy of current artists fusing the two musical worlds; Kate Simko.

Few have managed to marry the sophistication of classical music with electronic music as well as her, and the way the strings perfectly entwine with the beats on her remix of Franz Schubert's 'Schwanengesang' is joyous - no wonder it's already found support on BBC Radio One from Pete Tong.

It's the standout on an overall collection which is an interesting exploration of how well these two seemingly disparate worlds can collide.” – Skiddle

Item description:








2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation



Release Date:



Classical, Electronica


Modern Classical, Ambient, Electro, Downtempo, Deep House, Techno, Experimental, Minimal

Catalog No: