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Ever since ROB ZOMBIE struck out on his own (well, not really his own since he harvested a few bandmates from the original WHITE ZOMBIE) and released HELLBILLY DELUXE, we've been treated to movie after movie whose soundtrack contained DRAGULA: The Hot Rod Herman Mix.
While Dragula was a big hit, I'm glad Rob chose a different mix this time. AMERICAN MADE MUSIC TO STRIP BY is another mix album like WHITE ZOMBIE: SUPER SEXY SWINGING SOUNDS. Unlike that album, which was a re-mixed compilation of the two previous WHITE ZOMBIE albums, this is a remix of only one (!).
Will his fans buy it?
To hedge his bet, Rob has his luscious lover Sherri Kitty Moon pose soft-core naked on the cover and all inside (Scantily clothed women adorned SUPER SEXY SWINGING SOUNDS as well). I'm cool with this since Sherri has a sweet streamlined body. As nice as she looks though, its not enough to shell out $14.99.
So let's look at the music then.
The "Dragula" remix, like many of ROB ZOMBIE's remixes, have awkward Robert Williams style names. So lets just say that this one was re-mixed by Charlie Clouser, who is an excellent mixmaster and was featured on many of the mixes we heard on SUPER SEXY SWINGING SOUNDS. His abilities compliment ROB ZOMBIE in a perfect fit.
The "Superbeast" remix throws John Tempesta's creative drumwork out the window for a re-hashed, re-hacked, cut and paste clip-art drumbeat and sub standard synth loopings that you can buy on most CD midi collections. Remixed and called in by Praga Khan and Oliver Adams, this is worthless redundant crap. Who did they think they were going to impress with this?
GOD LIVES UNDERWATER turns in more of the same on "How To Make A Monster". They only barely raise themselves above the low mark set by Khan and Adams by mixing in a more raw, unengineered sounding vocal by Rob. Overall, the music could be any saved to disk loop that I've heard hundreds of times in the past decade.
Charlie Clouser shows these lazy slobs how its done by slamming and slamming HARD with an all out remix attack of Rob with "Living Dead Girl". While some of his sound clips are the same as you may hear elsewhere, Clouser doesn't just paste them into place. He integrates them into the full spectrum of Heavy Metal madness that is ROB ZOMBIE and enhances, instead of diluting Zombie's energy.
RAMMSTEIN weaves their own brand of German techno into "Spookshow Baby" while respecting the music at the same time. The result is a structured and timed perspective of this balls to the wall song. RAMMSTEIN exchanges the in your face attack of the original song for one of unstoppably certain onslaught. Bombastic and measured at the same time, RAMMSTIEN does it right!
POLY 915 is another example of someone taking old loops and making them work. In "Demonoid Phenomenon" you can tell that POLY 915 has respect for themselves as well as the music. This could be a great "level" song should Rob ever release a video game.
Phillip Steir takes on "The Ballad Of Resurrection Joe" and gives the song a staggeringly cool undercurrent allowing Rob to break out in the chorus like the music demands. This is excellent re-mixing.
More cut and paste mess. This time from SPACETRUCKERS doing "What Lurks On Channel X?". As the re-mix just dawdles along without direction, the whole thing sounds like it is just going to die and fade out: then comes the hack work. How many times must we hear the electronic chipmunk voice in an uncountable number of songs order us to "Yo! Get busy!"? Like this has ANYTHING to do with ROB ZOMBIE music. This song is fine when it stays with the Zombie band, but everytime SPACETRUCKERS try to show their chops, they kick themselves in the face.
Steve Duda tries his hand at "Meet The Creeper" and turns in a textbook perfect example of remixing. Its not creative, but its technically sound. This remix is a middle ground in an album divided into extremes.
"Return Of The Phantom Stranger" is re-mixed by Chris Vrenna. While the tune has a catchy rhythm, it castrates the original.
POW! The album makes an electrified leap as the monster returns to life in a lightening bolt spasm with "Superbeast"! What happened? None other than the masterful return of Charlie Clouser. Damn, but this sucker is good!
DJ Lethal re-does another re-mix of "Meet The Creeper". In this case, Lethal stays true to the original and adds more sounds, instruments, scratching, and sound effects. The result is an amazing new sound that is true for ROB ZOMBIE and closes the album well.
Kitty Moon may bare her sweet ass on the CD, but its the music that matters. This album is a sputtering hotrod. When its good its really good, but there were too many mixers who had no business being on this disk. They had neither respect for Rob or even enough creativity to at least showcase themselves. This one is for completists only. A far better mix disk, and a true compliment to the Zombie music, is SUPER SEXY SWINGING SOUNDS.
review copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.