The Free Design: The Now Sound Redesigned

The Free Design was an obscure, bizarrely cheerful sunshine-pop band from 1967 to '72. Obscure, that is, until its "canonization" by modern hepcats and spiritual heirs like High Llamas, Stereolab, and Belle & Sebastian. Since you're nobody until somebody remixes you, here's the re-/deconstruct treatment delivered by the aforementioned progeny and some clever beat-masters. Highlight: Chris Geddes (of B&S and Hush Puppy) molds the cleverly sarcastic "2002 -- A Hit Song" into a suite of Twilight Zone proportions, where sections of the song are "warped" in a surreal yet tender manner. Some versions are little more than the original with a trendy "beat" grafted on (Styrofoam & Sarah Shannon's "I Found Love"), while others use the FD's tunes as source material while remaining true to their essence, such as Mellow's soothing, Magical Mystery Tour breakdown of "Kites Are Fun." While engaging, Redesigned is a mixed bag, one liable to appeal more to crate-diving mix-mobsters than melody-thrilled sunshine-popsters.


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