So many things could go wrong when remixing Elton John. For one thing, that's Sir Elton John, and now that Prince Harry has refashioned himself as a DJ, you can bet that there are royal repercussions for sullying the work of one of the Queen's own.
So Australia's Pnau — the duo of Empire of the Sun's Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes — must have felt some trepidation when they got their hands on the multi-tracks to Elton John's biggest hits from his golden period, 1970-76. (They did have one advantage over your garden-variety bootleggers: Sir Elton is apparently their official mentor, although it's unclear what, exactly, such an arrangement might entail — beyond, presumably, free eyewear.)
Wisely, they went the extra-credit route. Rather than simply delivering clubbed-up versions of his perennial crowd-pleasers, they mixed and mashed bits and pieces of multiple songs into sleek assemblages with an uncanny relationship to their source material — a particularly kaleidoscopic take on déjà vu. The result, Good Morning to the Night, was released last month on Casablanca Records. Despite its home on one of disco's most legendary labels, the album is more pop than dance, but a newly announced deluxe edition of the LP, due out on September 25, aims to make good on the Casablanca legacy with new remixes from Seamus Haji, the 2 Bears, and the rising producers Cahill, Mele, and Siege.
The 2 Bears — Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and his Greco-Roman Soundsystem cohort Raf Rundell — do exactly what they do best on their remix of "Sad," dropping Todd Edwards-styled vocal chop over a shuffling, jacking house groove before unleashing a melancholy chorus cribbed from Elton John's "Curtains": "When summer burned the earth again…" As feel-bad hits go, it's just the thing for a summer marked by drought. Listen to their remix below, along with a flashier rework of "Good Morning to the Night" by the reliably feel-good Fred Falke.