Enter Shikari, known for their dynamic live shows and outspoken lyrics, chatted to MM about the release of their first remix album The Mindsweep: Hospitalised tomorrow.
Enter Shikari will also be in HMV, Manchester on November 5 for an in-store signing for the album.
“I love Manchester. Its musical history means a lot to us,” lead singer Roughton ‘Rou’ Reynolds told MM, when asked about their visit to the city.
“There are so many bands from the city who have inspired us big time.”
In paying homage to the ‘great’ Tony Wilson, Rou described the Factory Records co-owner as a ‘total legend’.
“A total legend and a man who gave us a lot of support and some scarily nice big compliments,” he said.
Manchester signing is Thursday (plus Liverpool – Wednesday. Cardiff – Friday. Nottingham – Saturday). https://t.co/F2eYiNBz7Q
— ENTER SHIKARI (@ENTERSHIKARI) October 28, 2015
The band teamed up with Hospital Records to create this latest album with producers at the label, one of the most well-known within UK dance music.
The producers were given freedom to add their specialised touch to original album The Mindsweep, released earlier this year, and turn a ‘pipe dream’ into reality.
Rou said: “The remix album was more of a pipe dream really, we never thought it would actually happen.
“But when we approached Hospital Records it turned out a lot of the producers on the label were actually fans of Shikari.
“So it felt natural, it felt like a nice collision of different worlds, that we found out, aren;t so different after all.
“As a huge fan of Hospital Records a new each producers sound, we got together with Chris at the label and worked out together which song each artist would be best suited to remix.
“And from then on wards really it was just making sure the producers felt they had real freedom and made the tracks their own.”
— ENTER SHIKARI (@ENTERSHIKARI) October 22, 2015
The album begins with The Appeal and the Mindsweep part 1, a Metrik remix with a loud frenzy of electronic beats interwoven with the band’s strong messages.
Beginning the album with lyrics ‘this is an appeal, to the struggling and striving stakeholders of this planet’ and ‘this fight is for human kind’ poses similarities to older material and issues seen on Common Dreads.
Myopia refers to climate change – ‘they’re living in denial of science’ – and The Bank of England – ‘no room for ethics now, greed is in charge’ – does well not to lose the original message conveyed in The Mindsweep.
For every song like The Appeal & The Mindsweep setting the fast pace of the album, tracks like The One True Colour and Never Let Go Of The Microscope slow down the tempo and acts as a calm interval.
Anaesthetist, remixed by Reso and a lyrical tirade against the privatisation of the NHS, appears Prodigy-esque with a strong electronic sound in amongst heavy drums, bass beats and equally heavy breakdowns.
Along with Anaesthetist, it’s likely to be a favourite with live crowds.
Rou said: “We are getting our voice heard whether we like it or not.
“I think creating a sense of true community in this day and age is really important as it’s being lost elsewhere.”
— Hospital Records (@HospitalRecords) October 19, 2015
The Last Garrison was the first song to be released off the album and sets the tone for what to expect.
Along with Torn Apart, The Last Garrison feels like a throwback to older material seen on Take to the Skies or Common Dreads with more of a focus on vocals.
Despite a mix of new experimental sounds, as a fan of their older material, Torn Apart and Dear Future Historians remain personal standout favourites on the album.
Interlude appears as an outro to Torn Apart and stands apart from the rest. Remixed by The Erised, the song is led by a female vocalist and feels chilled in the rush of the other songs.
Towards the end of the album, There’s A Price On Your Head begins unassumingly with sharp violinist sounds. Dear Future Historians, a London Elektricity remix, plays with the backdrop of a piano.
Both have a cohesion of catchy melody and lyrics that are likely to be stuck in your head for days.
Dear Future Historians, with lyrics like ‘just put your weight on my shoulders’, feels reminiscent of Adieu on Take To The Skies, and its composure brings the album to its finale perfectly.
The Appeal and The Mindsweep part 2 concludes the album in the only way seen fit – strong electronic tones on a backdrop of drum & bass and screamo with a throwback to Sorry You’re Not A Winner’.
— Hospital Records (@HospitalRecords) October 24, 2015
Overall, Enter Shikari and Hospital Records are a winning combination and the album will no doubt get crowds singing from their February tour to summer festivals.
The lack of consistency offers up surprises for the listener and the underlying lyrical references makes this remix album really stand out in a saturated drum & bass market.
The real success factor however lies with the producers at Hospital Records, who have injected their own style into the songs, making it a fresh and exciting listen with a sublime remix range.
You can catch the band at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on February 25 2016 as part of The Mindsweep tour with support from U.S. pop punk band The Wonder Years and others.
Their 2016 tour will be some of the biggest headline shows the band has ever undertaken, but while keeping the real energy and usual communal aspect of a smaller Shikari show.
— hmv (@hmvtweets) October 14, 2015
Rou is looking forward to what he described as ‘getting back into the sweet shop of production and lighting so we can make this a total assault on all the senses’.
He told MM: “These are our only UK shows for a while. And the next few months are all about prep for them. The production and lighting meetings have been particularly exciting!
“We’re determined to keep the real energy of a smaller Shikari show and have a lot of ideas to achieve that.
“Each show will actually be in quadrophonic sound so we’ll be coming at your from all angles.”
So what can we expect in the future from the band? The same thing we do everyday Pinky…
Rou said:“World domination! Shit, sorry that was the boring clichéd rockstar side of me coming out there, just squished it back down me oesophagus.
“The future actually holds a bowl of ripe fruit, mostly berry based I believe, and it is beckoning us over in an almost seductive manner.
“Make of that what you will.”
Tickets for the 2016 tour are on sale now and can be found here.