Blast from the past Scottish sensation Franz Ferdinand came back to the present after a five year hiatus, with ‘Always Ascending’ – an electro-discoesque, pop-rock album that very much holds on tight to what made Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand. And while they have lended their music as baseboard for more club-friendly renditions in the past, the boyband handpicked an eclectic mix of dance music producers to reinterpret and re-season two tracks off their 2018 album – title track ‘Always Ascending’ and the racy, groovy ‘Feel the Love Go’. The Scots handed the latter to Berlin-based underground electronic music label honchos and remix maestros, Ame who took the remix package for a win
A comeback from Scottish boyband Franz Ferdinand feels like comfort food and a Netflix binge for most millenials – oft-saccharine but actually in essence intellectual lyricism, catchy synth beats and hip and hoppy rhythm that aim at vintage and almost so closely fails but somehow makes it work. The quartet was quirky – nerdy but cool, counterculture but pop-culture, of substance but daft. And wasn’t that exactly how we transversed and waddled into the mind-fornicating mess of 21st century, and also what made and makes it almost bearable.
Released as a single on January 9th of this year, and a month later as part of the Always Ascending album, the synth-saturated, hi-hat happy track propelled by the ever-reliable frontman Alex K’s charming vocals, in itself knows how to sweep and swoon. After parting ways with longtime guitarist Nick McCarthy, the band easily congealed with newcomers Dino Bardot on guitar as Julian Corrie supplemented added texture through some extra attention on synth and percussion. The production came together handsomely, elegantly adorned by a well-calculated and binding saxophone orchestration. But a certain roughness was amiss, a dancefloor factor that can differentiate groove and suave, set the body voltaic rather than balanced. Kristian Beyer alias Ame DJ and Frank Wiedemann better known as Ame live, and both jointly referred to as Ame, let the proof sit, ferment and leaven into a dancefloor incendiary that not only grooves but moves, and moves along forward with trends and time.
While the sultry saxophone lamentation serenaded the hopeless romantics in each and everyone of us, there is no separation anxiety when it leaves the limelight in the remix. The German DJ/Producer duo has not remained in the game for no reason. Feel the Love Go version 2.0 revs heartbeats from 113 bpm to 122, perhaps with a little extra hip sway, a few more bangs-slinging, who knows, but it gets us up to, no pun intended, go. More than three minutes lengthier than the original, the remix peruses the extra time not to exploit airtime and max it until ‘played out.’ By adding some nifty electro-tricks and some post-industrialism cultural instability to touch, Ame aces their own version of Feel the Love Go and melds beautifully some conflicting musical styles, peppered with cultural angst and ultimately makes light and art of some adverse yet intricately woven phenomena. We can Feel the Love Go, but really, there’s way too much love to hold on to, so why don’t we just feel it?
Review by Marie J Floro