Beck, “Cell Phone’s Dead” (Ricardo Villalobos Entlebuch remix)
Naturally, right? A thick sandwich of rhythmic parts calling out to be picked apart, “Cell Phone’s Dead” is in good, steady hands with Ricardo Villalobos’ pulling motifs Operation-style from the original — just enough to build a fourteen minute arc around. It’s evident the last minute and a half or so of “Cell Phone’s Dead” was of most interest to him: cavernous oohs and ahhs, each parsed down to only two octaves of Beck, stretched through tune, floating around the tune as apparitions. Villalobos’ new handclap-lead beat starts out a little dry until flecks of the original’s percussive slices — woodblock, timbale, shakers and the occasional fried circuit reverb bursts — are sewn back in. Some guy’s free verse poetic rap filters in and out throughout the tune’s length, which provides an unhinged conversation for Beck’s wordplay to interact with. As with his ominous and highly adored “Sinner in Me” remix, Villalobos keeps things interesting throughout the tune’s expansive length, delivering listeners’ heads into the clouds and beckoning for everyone else to ride the elevator up. This track is included on Beck’s new two-disc deluxe edition of The Information (more stickers, yay!), which could have easily been its own remix EP. I find it interesting but not altogether surprising Beck chose this Chilean, along with Dave Sitek, Jamie Lidell, Ellen Allien and the awful Bumblebeez, getting names from all sorts of fields. I have a feel we’ll be seeing this remix played out and slipped into mixes quite often, and soon.
Big thanks to JBH for his crucial donation.