Lyricists: Melanie De Biasio; Pascal Paulus.
Personnel: Melanie De Biasio (vocals, flute); Pascal Mohy (piano); Pascal Paulus (Clavinet); Dré Pallemaerts (drums).
Liner Note Author: Gilles Peterson.
Recording information: Motormusic.
The mostly soothing, slightly baleful, ultimately seductive No Deal, the self-produced second album from songwriter, vocalist, and flutist Melanie De Biasio, reached number five on the Ultratop album chart in the artist's native Belgium and gradually charmed DJs and publications in other territories. Released weeks after she performed at BBC DJ Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards ceremony and collected a trophy at the European Border Breakers Awards, this is a rare remix album that can be enjoyed from beginning to end, as an alternative version rather than as a clashing assortment of remixes. Arranged by Peterson, who called upon some of his favorite contemporary musicians and producers, No Deal Remixed presents all of the album's songs in new form, identically sequenced, though Cinematic Orchestra's weighty version of "I'm Gonna Leave You" -- different from Clap! Clap!'s lighter, busier work earlier in the program -- functions like a bonus track. Peterson and Simbad's fusion of "With Love" and "Sweet Darling Pain" is central, the most dramatic and radical rework. Its tremulous juke patterns gradually intensify and fill the original's space and pensiveness with nervous anxiety. Another striking remix comes from Eels (Mark Oliver Everett), who possibly took the first line of "I Feel You" -- "I feel you/A deep echo in me" -- as something of a cue. He makes the album opener sound decades old. Through its squally strings, one can envision a rapid playback of scenes from a past romance. Japanese Blue Note act Hex's stuttering/driving revamp of "The Flow" places greater emphasis on De Biasio's flute, while Seven Davis Jr.'s contribution with "No Deal" is a lean house track that treats her voice like a sample source. ~ Andy Kellman