Howie B vs. Casino Royale / Various Royale Sound EP

Last year, Howie B, one of the most prodigious producers of UK electronica, past and present, took on the task of reworking Reale by Italy's Casino Royale. The offspring produced was Howie B vs. Casino Royale's Not In the Face, a mixture of funk, dub, ska and heaps of bass. While the Royale Sound EP foregoes the original track, it offers a handful of remixes from a few names in dub-step and electronica. Ramadanman, a young producer in the dub-step scene, throws out two mixes, a refix and a redub, both with a steady thump and a dark, grimy vibe. The only problem is the variation between the tracks is so painfully similar it hardly seems worth it to have them both on the disc. Meanwhile, Radioactive Man adds a taste of coarse bass and a spattering of inconsequential elements to slightly modify the track to his "Get High" remix, paired with the instrumental version. The EP isn't a total write-off though, as Pardo, guitarist in Casino Royale, somewhat continues with Radioactive Man's mix but keeps the surging bass and adds keys throughout. Howie B of course throws his own mix in, a nice re-work with heavy synths, which helps with the mediocrity. (Fabric)