Faithless – The Dance Never Ends

In what proved to be one of the biggest releases of 2010, The Dance confirmed the return of Faithless to dancefloors around the world. When it was announced a few months later that Sister Bliss, Maxi Jazz and Rollo would be bringing their live show back to Australia after a six-year hiatus as headliners for the Good Vibrations Festival, Aussie fans thought all their prayers had been answered.

Whether or not someone prayed for a follow-up remix album such as The Dance Never Ends is questionable, but its release late last year was welcome. Sure, Faithless had parted ways with their major label and had put The Dance out independently on their own Nate’s Tunes imprint; they’d inked deals with Italian car maker Fiat and UK supermarket Tesco, leading to the inevitable ‘sell-out’ calls from the misinformed around the world.

But what could be summed up by some as a cash grab is anything but, for this remix album is remarkable. The trio has pulled off somewhat of a coup, enlisting the talents of some of electronica’s biggest names – and a few surprises – to rework tracks off the original LP. Sister Bliss, speaking with ITM late last year, put it like this, “Having been around for 15 years we still feel really relevant and also [we] feel like DJs are still playing our music and they’re up there in the clubs with the rest of them, which was the aim of this album.”

“It’s sometimes easier to start with a more club-oriented album in the first place when you’re doing remixes and it’s really gratifying that the best people in the business all turned around and said ‘yes’, they wanted to work with us.”

It’s gratifying for fans, too. This release is a double delight; disc one showcases The Dance in all its glory. Disc two, meanwhile, takes those tracks and puts them in the hands of Eric Prydz, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and Toolroom Records chief Mark Knight, among others.

All remixes deliver their maker’s distinct sound. Eric Prydz’s take on Not Going Home’ is deep and dark, allowing Maxi Jazz’s vocal to shine through. Defected artist ATFC, meanwhile, delivers a main-room house interpretation of Feel Me.

Somewhat out of place, at least if we’re talking electronic genres, is Australia’s own Temper Trap, who turn in a remix of Comin Around, the original on which lead singer Dougy Mandagi appears as vocalist. Their effort is brilliant for its simplicity and, as Sister Bliss remarked, is a “lovely take on the original”.

Elsewhere, Italian duo Crookers turn in a wicked remix of Tweak Your Nipple, while Mark Knight follows up his 2009 remix of Music Matters with a tough remix of Sun To Me. Armin van Buuren and Tiesto impress with their respective remixes of Not Going Home and Tweak Your Nipple, but it’s emerging US producer Penguin Prison and his playful remix of Feel Me which is this hack’s pick. Other efforts from German trance mainstayers Kyau & Albert and up-and-coming producer Calida also impress.

All in all this is a top-shelf effort and one which again confirms Faithless’ relevance amid an increasingly saturated electronic scene. Maxi Jazz and Dido’s vocals never lose their shine; respective remixers are true to the original tracks but build from them, instead of breaking them down completely and shaping the remix from their ashes. If you’ve already got The Dance, this is well worth downloading. If you don’t, pick this up as a double-CD and it will surely entertain as festival season rolls on, and onto one festival in February in particular.

The Dance Never Ends is out now on Nate Tunes through Liberator Music.