If 2020 stands as The Worst Year In Living Memory for a great many people, then the apocalypse did offer one bright light of salvation: namely, Lady Gaga’s extraordinary pop statement ‘Chromatica’. A return to the plastic creativity of her pop roots, ‘Chromatica’ re-connected Gaga with the dancefloor, an explosion rainbow of fluorescent tones that never knowingly went under-stated.
Remix collection ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’ is a sister piece, one that brings some fantastic into her orbit. A hodge-podge of styles, genres, and scintillating noise, it’s a broad, ruthlessly entertaining compilation that illustrates just how much music actually went into the direct, finesse’d pop that illuminated ‘Chromatica’.
The highs on display are truly interstellar. LSDXOXO and COUCOU CHLOE go back to back in order to open ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’, delivering dancefloor bumpers in the process. Tasked with remixing (respectively) electro thumper ‘Alice’ and fan anthem ‘Stupid Love’, the two dole out digi-production that comes wrapped in effervescence.
Arca deconstructs ‘Rain On Me’, and their mosaic-like approach has a sly, subversive edge; Rina Sawayama and Clarence Clarity team up for an arena-worthy take on ‘Free Woman’ while Charli XCX and A. G. Cook deliver a stellar remix of ‘911’.
Not everything lands, however. ‘Sine From Above’ is reworked by Chester Lockhart, Mood Killer, and Elton John – the dense effects seem to distort the song, and it’s perhaps a case of too-many-cooks.
The main takeaway from ‘Dawn Of Chromatica’ however is Gaga’s curatorial ability, and the even strength of talent on display. Capable of moving from Ashnikko’s playful digitalism through to the ballroom energy of the Jimmy Edgar and Bree Runway take on ‘Babylon’, it’s a relentlessly entertaining display.
Coming ahead of jazz-fuelled standards album ‘Love For Sale’, this remix compilation is an excuse to adore Lady Gaga for her abilities as a cultural curator, one of this generation’s few – only – true interstellar pop talents.
Words: Robin Murray
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