Larry Kraman and Koch took a huge leap of faith when they began putting together the compilation that would come to be known as Beatles ReGrooved. Beatles cover songs are certainly not uncommon in Rock music - but as various styles of electronic music begin to crawl out from the dark lounges of the world into the blistering daylight, it would only make sense for someone to test just how far those sounds can be pushed. As I am writing this article, Koch’s Beatles ReGrooved album is sitting in the #1 slot on the iTunes charts - and it looks like it might be there for a while.
For the record, although the songwriting credits on these selections bear the familiar names of Harrison, McCartney, and Lennon, this album is NOT the Beatles music.
The album IS a 14 song "trek" through a dubbed-out and gooey electro reflection of what once was - Young composers scramble to personally understand, and possibly reiterate, musical content that once held the world in its grasp. Lucid apparitions of ideas communicated through well-known melodies are what tie the entire project together. The lyrical content and harmonies of Eros’ elucidation of "Blackbird" and "Let It Be" are paired with glitchy progressive electronica, while Mystiquintet takes a slightly more experimental route on "Eleanor Rigby" and "Because." Joseph Jaime’s recreation of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" echoes with familiarity, as does Signs’ "Strawberry Fields" and Chokocheeky’s "Hey Jude. Other selections include Skylab2000 "Two of Us" and Selway "Something" & "Across the Universe."
Undoubtedly, the shining stars of the album are Holmes Ives and his artistic associate Jette Kelly. While Holmes himself turns out a incredible dub version of "Come Together" with Azade Abi and Avalon Frost, the pair known as Jette-Ives takes on full reconstructions of both "I Want You (She’s So Heavy)" and "Eleanor Rigby" (the latter is not included on the American CD release, but can be found elsewhere). Jette Kelly’s bluesy, heart-wrenching vocals are paired luminously with Holmes’ concrete-busting basslines and soaring audio synthesis. There are also rumors of a Jette-Ives "Eleanor Rigby" music video in production. Showcasing these two shooting stars of electronica, rocking out a very well-made Beatles cover-tune on MTV, might not be such a bad idea for Koch.
Overall, Beatles purists will undoubtedly seek to deface and vilify this line of new works. But in the end, isn’t it up to the people to decide whether or not an album is worthy of recognition?