THERMO KINGS, a remix disc of 808 State's DON SOLARIS, boasts some formidable talent. Brian Eno, Propellerheads, and Dillinja all take stabs at the dynamic 808 formula. In addition, the 808 boys rework some of their own stuff.
Eno's version of "Lopez" retains the original's beckoning vocal refrains but recasts the rhythms into a slow and seductive slow-synth dance "ballad" that beautifully compliments the original. British drum-and-bass impresario Dillinja takes "Azura" down the straight and narrow path of jungle, sending bright shards of ringing electronics and steel pans directly into the path of crisp, upwardly mobile BPMs. In one of the disc's best mixes, Propellerheads take "Lopez" to new heights of fame and fortune, spicing up 808's airy original with thumping, variable big beats, bolstering the tempo, and embellishing the foreground with enough jazzy wah-wah guitar and adding piercing strings for a surprising fusion rush. While some remix projects are pointless showcases of producers' chops, 808's choice of remixers here offers a big-time payoff.