De Staat – Vinticious Versions Review

De Staat

Vinticious Versions from Dutch band De Staat is their newest release following last year’s I_Con which was awarded an Edison, Holland’s most prestigious music prize. The EP consists of 8 re-works of songs spanning across the bands previous 3 albums including I_Con (2013), Machinery (2011) and wait for evolution (2009).

In this EP there is a sense the band wanted to pull away from their established sound and experiment with new ideas. The reigning in of the rhythm guitar from centre stage and use of other instruments breathes new life into the tracks and brings a more developed feel to them. A lot of the tracks are a lot less cluttered and become more basic but they bring with them a new sense of depth and thought. The new instruments also bring an interesting pathway into the songs whilst combining the sections of the tracks carried from the originals in a way that sounds different and exciting.

The first track on the EP ‘get it together’ takes a stripped back approach to the original. The main body has been taken away by removing the punchy guitar sections and the background hum of the synthesizer, allowing for a new cleaner sound. The track is more simplistic but it sounds infinitely more complex, the removal of two of the most prominent elements allowing the other instruments the space they need. Instead now a new free flowing bass line that walks the song forward, prickly guitar licks and strong vocals come to the forefront. The track steers away from the rock sound of the original and offers something fresh that sounds different but retains the same iconic riffs from the original.

‘Build that, buy that’ is the second track on the EP and it is another excellent take on the original. Once again the guitar has been taken out as the driving force of the song which in turn allows for more focus on the other elements. This Includes making way for new instruments demonstrated in the main riff which has become much more prominent in the song. What sounds like a xylophone has been used instead that brings a new defined layer which falls perfectly in line with the new upbeat groove the song has. The tempo and beat is very much the same as the original but the removal of the thick guitar chords that weighed the song down release the track and injects energy.

A stand out track on the EP is ‘sweatshop’. In this version the sluggish tempo fits perfectly making the song sound increasingly menacing. The vocals on the track are what make it such an excellent re-imagining of the original and create its new identity. The female vocals from the normal version have been completely cut out and instead deep vocals from the original have been included heavily throughout at various points. This coupled with the slower tempo creates an eerily dark tone that works very well. The iconic guitar riff has been kept as it complements the new feel with its droning, downward nature. The simplicity of the track brings the attention inward onto the sulking vocals as they dominate the song. The way they are delivered works incredibly well with Torre Florim almost talking into the listener’s ear rather than singing on a track.

A very different track on the EP when compared to the rest is, ‘input source select’. It brings with it an old school hip hop feel with which the vocals are the main element, being very reminiscent of Beastie Boys in both style and delivery. The track is edgy and full of momentum whilst also being very much bare bones in comparison to the original. (As what is expected from this EP). It revolves around a powerful drum and bass beat which gives it a potent groove that is carried throughout. Other instruments are added to the mix with melodies that help to break up the non-stop nature of the vocals, adding brief moments of respite before the song is hammered forward again.

This EP is a captivating release from the band with 8 interesting, creative and enjoyable reimagining’s of already excellent original tracks. The new approaches are intriguing and bring something new to the table in terms of De staat’s sound and style that both new and old fans can enjoy. Vinticious versions is out on November 24th.

De staat – Vinticious versions 8/10

Vinticious Versions  (+Free Poster)

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