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CD: Pete Tong & HER-O - Chilled Classics | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pete Tong & HER-O - Chilled Classics

CD: Pete Tong & HER-O - Chilled Classics

Another set of unnecessary orchestral rejigs of old dance music

The bust that every mantelpiece desires

Ever since rock’n’roll began, the orchestral cover version has played a contentious role in popular music.

It has sometimes signified a revision of raw musical styles for those who prefer being spoon-fed; it has sometimes represented aspirations to high culture and the concert halls of yore; in more recent years, it’s often been a gambit to persuade those growing older to re-listen to a defanged version of their youth. And it’s almost always a cash-in.

The rave generation is now ageing and, just as inevitably, bland orchestral versions of their prime have started appearing. Whole nights have popped up, often built around rose-spectacled revisions of Manchester’s Hacienda club. 50-somethings recall their golden MDMA moments while swaying as a string section pours sugar on a porridge of “You Got the Love” or similar (“You Got the Love”, alongside Robin S’s “Show Me Love” - the latter here present and fine tunes both - have sadly become the “Mustang Sally”s of rave culture).

Pete Tong, that most pragmatic and business-headed of DJs, knows a market opportunity when he sees one. He’s lent his name to three albums of club music covers by Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra. Featuring a solid cast of vocalists such as Wiley, Robert Owens, MNEK and Boy George, this is their third. It’s not as deeply tedious as it might be, not even massively orchestral, for the most part, offering a Balearic take on its chosen oeuvre, with cuts such as Neneh Cherry & Youssou N’Dour’s “7 Seconds” alongside more staple Nineties biggies such as “Born Slippy” and “Greece 2000”.

But why not just give this to Grandad for Christmas and seek out new electronic albums instead by artists such as Qasim Naqvi, Kompromat, Jayda G, Dallas Acid, Blanck Mass, Quantic, Tycho, Caterina Barbieri, Tim Hecker, Prins Thomas, Flying Lotus, YACHT, Girl Unit, Doomsquad, DeWalta, Tony Njoku and tens of others doing something much more exciting.

Below: Watch the video for "Go Crazy" by Pete Tong & HER-O featuring Todd Edwards

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