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Further Down the Spiral

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  • 4.5 Stars

    Halo 10 “Further Down the Spiral” is probably the most popular NIN remix CD as it was released during Trent Reznor’s commercial and critical pinnacle, following the release of his masterpiece “The Downward Spiral” (1994).

    NIN remix albums in general are usually a mixed bag. While the Halo collector may want to collect all the singles/remix CDs just for the sake of owning a complete Halo collection, and while some hard-core fans may relish everything Trent Reznor has to offer, other, more casual fans may not be interested in remix albums. “Further Down the Spiral” is really the one NIN remix album that I would recommend to hard-core and casual fans alike.

    If you are expecting to hear something like “Closer” or “Head like a Hole,” something with an infectious hook, “Further Down the Spiral” is most likely not going to satisfy you. But “Further Down the Spiral” has something else to offer–some of the most atmospheric, captivating music you will ever hear. While some music is just something to listen to in the background, “Further Down the Spiral” creates an aura of eerie serenity, that is paradoxically disturbing. Unlike “The Downward Spiral” it doesn’t assault the senses, rather it takes hold of the listener more subtly. It’s a CD to listen to in the dark when no one else is around, a CD to lose yourself in.

    If you already own “The Downward Spiral,” “Further Down the Spiral” is an excellent choice to purchase as a companion. If you are just a casual fan and are on the fence about what remix CDs to buy, I would recommend “Further Down the Spiral” as your first choice. If you are going to pick up any of the remix albums at all, stick with this.

    Posted on January 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is an amazing disc of reconstructions of songs from “the downward spiral.” if you are into experimental electronic music, then this disc is for you … along with every other release from nine inch nails.

    here is a rundown of the tracks:

    piggy – a more beat oriented, heavier version of this song. in the “chorus” section, a very fast beat and heavy guitar have been added (courtesy of dave navarro). this song is good, but is just a prelude to the greatness that is to come…

    the art of self destruction pt. 1 – an instrumental track which slowly builds up in intensity and then careens to a halt. it always reminds of a train building up speed and then finally derailing and falling to pieces at the end. very good track.

    the art of self destruction pt. 2 – remixed by j. thirlwell – a very cool reworking of “mr. self destruct” which highlights more of the more subtle sounds found buried beneath the guitars in the original version.

    the downward spiral – reconstructed by coil – AMAZING! very ambient, psychedelic reconstruction of this song. after a short intro, the song develops into this great instrumental that sounds very bubbly, like some beautiful underwater landscape. then at the end… coil takes us through an inferno and then brings us back down to the bottom…

    hurt – i actually do not listen to this song very much, and there is barely any difference between this and the version on the downward spiral…

    eraser – by coil – another great song by coil… this one feature a chugging distorted guitar riff, yet still remaining quite ambient and coil-esque.

    at the heart of it all – created by aphex twin – THE REASON TO BUY THIS ALBUM!!!! – i don’t believe that this song actually contains anything from the downward spiral, but i could be wrong. i think this is just an original track that r.d.james submitted as a remix. anyway, this is one of my favorite songs of all time, and certainly my favorite electronic composition ever. this version is longer and much better than the version found on the aphex twin album (26 remixes for cash). this is one of the greatest songs ever written and is worth the price of the CD itself.

    eraser (polite) – by coil – a short reworking of eraser, with just the lyrics and a nice sounding synth-string line. very short and very beautiful.

    self destruction,final – by j. thirlwell – very similar to his other remix of this song (the art of self destruction pt. 2), except with a cool intro, and even less heavy guitar.

    the beauty of being numb – the first part was created by NIN and is very noisy and crazy sounding… then it goes right into a section created by Aphex Twin, which again is amazing. a cool, mechanical type drum beat evolve over a piano playing chords to the tune of the melody at the end of “closer” and in the song “the downward spiral” – very cool.

    erased.over.out – another creation by coil – very slow and ambient… not too much happens in this song unfortunately… there is no real development… so just fast forward your CD player and listen……..

    So, if you’ve read all of this and are into experimental electron music… then GET THIS CD NOW!!!!!!!

    Posted on January 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It’s an okay remix album of The Downward Spiral, but the UK version is far superior. It’s better-constructed and it’s more varied in the songs it draws from. A brief summary on the differences:-”Self Destruction, Part Two” is replaced by “Part Three.” I greatly prefer the latter to the former, it’s fresher and besides, “Part Two” is basically a shorter version of “Final.”-”Hurt (Quiet)” is very very similar to the original, and I can’t make up my mind whether it deserved to be on this album or not. It sounds more intimate for some reason. On the import, this is replaced by a live version. They’re pretty much the same except for the crowd noises.-”Eraser (Polite)” and “Erased, Over, Out” are gone. I really don’t like “E,O,O” because it’s so repetitive. In fast-forward, it just says “erase me” over and over on top of the same background. “E(P)” isn’t very good to begin with, just a keyboard melody over sped-up lyrics.-”The Beauty of Being Numb,” a combination of a Mr Self Destruct remix and an Aphex Twin appearance, is gone. Pity, I kind of liked this one except for the Eraser outro (that’s actually someone silently blowing through a tenor saxophone, by the way).-The real advantage of the import is the addition of “Heresy (Version)” and “Ruiner (Version)” by Charlie Clouser. “H(V)” is really really cool, but it cuts off suddenly. “R(V)” is a sort of trancy dance mix-type thing, quite a deviation from the original. Very nice.-Also, the Japanese version contains the bonus track “Reptilian” (a remix of Reptile) from the “March of the Pigs” single. If you can find this version (released by EastWest Japan) and it costs less than actually buying MOTP as well as the UK Further Down the Spiral, get it. This is my favourite remix from MOTP.In short: it’s worth paying the extra money for the import.

    Posted on January 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Remix albums are often a mixed bag, invariably remixes go one of three directions– total reinterpretations, too subtle to have any noticable difference, or dance/house/dub reconstructions. I find as a rule, I tend to prefer the former, but the material needs to have a depth of arrangement to support this, or it needs to be significantly engaging to allow a drastic change. Given that “The Downward Spiral” meets both these criteria, its little surprise that the remixes from it are quite strong– in fact, of all the Nine Inch Nails remix material, I’ve found consistently high quality only amongst “The Downward Spiral” material.

    Before I go on, the biggest complaint about this one is that there are tracks on here not on the UK release of “Further Down the Spiral” and vice versa. Admittedly, it’d be tight to fit them all, but for completionists, you need the UK version for four further mixes.

    The remixes on here are largely exercises in mood, many of the remixes take the original moods, usually anger, paranoia, depression, and add a heavy level of anticipation to it. Take “The Art of Self Destruction, Part One” (remixed by the live Nine Inch Nails band circa 1995) or the overlong “The Downward Spiral (the bottom)” (remixed by Coil and Danny Hyde)– both add a level of heightened anticipation to them that create a good pool of darkness from which the music can build. But even better than these moody pieces are the Aphex Twin construction “At the Heart of It All”, a stunning slice of orchestral ambient darkness constructed from samples from the album (don’t ask me how), the endlessly varied “Eraser” remixes from Coil/Danny Hyde, and the killer remix of “Piggy (nothing can stop me now)” by Rick Rubin, that takes the originals black mood and adds a level of aggression to it (with help of Dave Navarro’s guitar) that actually surpasses the original and was added to Reznor’s live set.

    This is a great value as far as remix albums go, and well worth the investment for anyone who loved “The Downward Spiral”.

    Posted on January 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Nine Inch Nails’ 1995 release, Further Down The Spiral, is an album of remixes of songs from the 1994 studio album, The Downward Spiral (and one original song by Aphex Twin contains brief samples taken throughout the album), and it goes without saying that you shouldn’t consider this album unless you enjoyed TDS (not just “Closer”–the remixes for that song are on a separate single).That being said, this is one of the best remix albums of all time. Most modern remix albums are nothing more than attempts to squeeze as much money as possible from the fan’s pockets (i.e., Limp Bizkit’s album “New Old Songs”), and thus, even the better ones, like Linkin Park’s Reanimation, tend to sound rather commercial. FDTS, on the other hand, was released before remix albums were that common. Of the tracks provided, only two sound like they could be successful on commercial radio: Rick Rubin’s remix of “Piggy” and Trent Reznor’s remix of “Hurt” (which sounds exactly the same as the album version unless you listen very carefully). This doesn’t mean that the rest of the remixes are unlistenable, it’s just that the pop element that was present in TDS has been essentially removed by the remixers.What this means is that FDTS has more appeal to fans of industrial music than to fans of alternative rock in general. The tracks are very atmospheric, and often explore various aspects of TDS’s songs in greater detail. The original creation by Aphex Twin should please folks who like his brand of electronica.In short, if you liked The Downward Spiral, and are interested in exploring the industrial aspect a little more, go for it. If not, spend your money on something you’ll enjoy more.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now