Foals – Collected Reworks Vol 1 – 3 [Album Review]

By Connor Adam

What a way to re-discover one of you favourite bands back catalogue than an expansive triple album compilation remix release! Foals are already known as a band to get your feet moving late into the night at any indie club night, and probably have one of the best live sets I’ve ever experienced. But now you can see what some of the best upcoming and established producers can do to transform a set of already anthemic indie bangers into euphoric club hits, obscure experimental electric tracks, 80’s ‘dancefloor fillers’; (or not).

This release is expansive, totalling 40 tracks – with a whopping 4 hours 20 minutes of play time! But for any fan of Foals I would highly recommend having a delve into this comprehensive mammoth compilation. I can guarantee there will be something on “Collected Reworks – Vol1-3” that will blow you away – a rarity – a little gem uncovered; Or you might end up ruining one of your favourite Foals classics on the way, but it’s definitely worth the musical journey.

Back-to-back we have a massive Tech House track in the form of ‘Bad Habit’ remixed by Voyeur transitioning into the chill beat and groove that producer Tomos has worked into ‘The Surf’ just highlighting the vast contrasts within this album. With the amount of content on this album there is going to be stuff that isn’t for everyone; myself finding this album quite dragging at points, to make all the way through from start to finish can be a bit of a task and choring. I found the Haxan Cloak remix of ‘What Went Down’ to be very taxing to get through, is a pretty dark ambient and industrial rendition of the indie-hit, I just found this track not to be to my taste, and I’m sure there will be track’s that will be a skip for yourselves also (but again music is all subjective).

I’ll give you a run down of some of my top picks from the 40 tracks that’s on offer in ‘Collected Reworks’ that made it into a few of my Spotify playlists and hopefully they’ll make it into some of yours. First up was one of my top played tracks in 2015; 

Foals – ‘Give It All’ remixed by Lindstrøm; I absolutely loved this version of the track when it came out and I’m so glad I’ve rediscovered it on ‘Collected Reworks’. Lindstrøm just complemented the sound of Foals with Disco style synth work and a driving beat through the song – taking advantage of the big open sound Foals produced in ‘Give It All’ to add in his own sound in the space. 

The next is one of two tracks featured by Alex Metric, who is a Grammy award winning musician, DJ and producer. I ended up choosing ‘Bad Habits’ for this short list, this track is an out-in-out dance hit. His remix of ‘Mountain at My Gates’ is also a top remix but I had to go with the other. Producing tracks for artists such as Silk City and Dua Lipa, and remixing tracks from the likes of Daft Punk, Gorillaz and Bloc Party there’s no surprise the quality of this work is high. Also featuring a remix of ‘Sunday’ on another Foals Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Remixes), Alex obviously knows what he’s doing when building a new arrangement around Yannis’ vocals. 

My last recommendation is a little funky rendition of ‘Olympic Airways’ remixed by Supermayer. Probably the best pick for the die hard fans of Foals that don’t want to be too offended. Supermayer delivers you the song in a slightly tidier, simpler format. It’s sparse, groovy and makes the most of the amazing bass lines Foals produced in their earlier works. Supermayer’s version of ‘Olympic Airways’ is maybe what I’d imagine the song to sound like if they released it around the time of What Went Down, not discrediting the producer on this he’s done a tremendous amount delivering the song in a completely different light. 

With clubs closed for the foreseeable I’m pretty sure there’s a load of you who are reading this with playlist’s dedicated to a weekend party in the house (following relevant guidelines hopefully) and I’m sure that you can fit some of the tracks from “Collected Reworks Vol 1-3” on. Alternatively you could tackle all of “Collected Reworks” in one sitting and enjoy the journey of discovery, rediscovery and horror that you’ll find yourself in – just like I did. I definitely found the album to be a more pleasing experience more or less of the time and I’m glad I gave this monster of a triple album a listen from start to finish. Tackle it how you chose and hopefully you’ll [re]discover your love for Foals like myself.

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