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The Remix Game

Bitter:Sweet

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Album Review

The appeal of Bitter:Sweet's debut album lay not only in the quality of the singing and the songwriting, but also in the duo's promiscuous approach to musical styles — a little bit of jungle here, a little bit of trip-hop there, a few touches of torch song and lounge lizardry in between. As you might expect, the remix album is the same thing only different. Nicola Conte gives the sweetly romantic "Heaven" a swaying Brazilian beat; Blackbird's take on "Overdue" is sharply funky and gently dubbed-up; JAB's mix of "Our Remains" nicely incorporates turntablism, breakbeats, and the rapping of Menez One. But throughout the album the chief attraction remains Shana Halligan's soft but crystal-clear voice — unlike many of her genre colleagues, she never falls back on lazy gimmicks, but invests her vocal choices with conscious intelligence. Notice how she moves subtly between a Betty Boop torchiness and a darker, throatier tone on "Take 2 Blue," and how her languid, breathy delivery cuts through the Fort Knox Five's jerky, busy remix of "Salty Air." Not every track is perfect (Thievery Corporation's mix of "Bittersweet Faith" is pleasant and somewhat funky, but not very distinctive), but most are excellent. Highly recommended.

Biography

Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Baroque trip-hop duo Bitter:Sweet formed in Los Angeles featuring vocalist Shana Halligan and producer Kiran Shahani (the latter of whom is also a founding member of Supreme Beings of Leisure). The two had lived just one block away from each other and had even recorded in the same studio before meeting via an online ad. Bitter:Sweet released its debut, The Mating Game, on Quango in April 2006. Drama followed in mid-2008, featuring a track titled "The Bomb" that was used as the theme for the television...
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The Remix Game, Bitter:Sweet
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