Published Sep 18, 2008More so than anything, this is more about the bands than the actual track. I find it interesting that the Teenagers are remixing Vampire Weekend right now. My initial reaction upon first reading about this was, "Wow, this came a year too late." It's likely just something I've picked up in my pointless musings, but a year ago you couldn't have found two bigger buzz bands. Taste-makers, hipsters and bloggers were all praising Vampire Weekend's prepster spin on Afrobeat and the Teenagers' "sexist" lo-fi schmaltz. And now? Well, it appears that once that full-length gets out in the open, everything changes, nothing's sacred and the cool kids abandon you for the next hot commodity, right? Here's a summary of what's happened so far for the two bands.
Vampire Weekend toured everywhere (they've played Toronto alone four times since last December), made it onto SNL and the cover of Spin but never became the indie crossover success many expected them to be. Or maybe they did, considering as of August 30 they'd sold 294,119 copies of their self-titled debut. That's actually pretty impressive but if people have been buying the record, they certainly haven't been talking about it after about March. I blame the fact that they basically just re-released their demos, which helped make Rapidshare a household name.
The Teenagers have not sold 300k copies, never made it onto SNL or Spin and sadly for them, their steam cooled rather quickly after the release of Reality Check. They've toured 'round these parts a couple times this year but haven't quite kept the same momentum going as Vampire Weekend. That likely has to do with the lukewarm reception to the album. Taking a peek over at its Metacritic rating, it appears there weren't too many critics who agreed with me on the record. I stand by it as a superb
As for the track itself, it's not quite Hot Chip recreating it with Peter Gabriel but I'm fond of the Teenagers' brand of remixing. They did a nice job on previous commissions by Lo-Fi-Fnk, Simian Mobile Disco and New Young Pony Club, but VW's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" is not an easy song to mess with. The rhythm is full of bongo off-beats and intertwining guitars and bass, not to mention the awkward vocals. And the Teenagers seem to realize this. What they do is just borrow Ezra Koenig's vocals and recreate the song entirely with their own distorted beat pattern, heaving synths and that familiar guitar riff that appears on just about every song of theirs. Essentially, it's their song with a guest appearance by the Vampire Weekend singer.
Vampire Weekend "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (The Teenagers Remix)"