"Life's A Motorway" (EP, 2000)
Following on from their Astro 7", ex-Spacemen 3 and cult favourites Alphastone release this five-track EP, all remixes of Life's A Motorway, a teaser for their next album due early 2001. Alphastone's EP Mix although only brief, no sooner does it get going than it comes to an abrupt halt, features their characteristic trippy ambience with Pete Bassman's vocal drawl simply repeating the title over and over. Fans should readily take to this. The four remaining tracks are given over to others to rework. The first of these is Flowchart's Doinky Mix, a chilled-out dub, the longest entry at just over five minutes. Acceleradeck's Changing Lane Mix retains the original vocal but strips back the music to a funky percussive beat and distant ambient melody.
The Bliss Mix by Pacifica transmutes the song into a typical Pacifica ambient sojourn with little or nothing of the original surviving the trip. But as Pacifica are great this isn't a problem. The closing HGV Mix by Alphastone's drummer Steve Janes, perhaps unsurprisingly, plays up the beats but at the same time uses an up-front bass synth to good effect. In many ways, the Alphastone cut is the least satisfying, but that's probably done to my personal tastes. Not sure how hardcore Alphastoners will take to the remixes, but those on the periphery might want to check this out. Comes in a nice gatefold card sleeve - stylish packaging being a regular feature of this always interesting label. 6/10
Official Alphastone website: http://www.alphastone.co.uk