Cash-in or creative rebirth: why are MGMT and Kelela remixing their albums?

The average remix is just a marketing tool – a way to get money for old rope. But in the right hands and with the best intentions, it can be sublime

Kelela’s debut album proper, 2017’s Take Me Apart, chronicled heartbreak, healing and new love, and scored highly in end-of-year lists in everywhere from Pitchfork and the Guardian to Cosmopolitan. Translating those accolades into record sales, however, was to prove tricky: the album failed to break either the US Billboard Top 100 or UK’s Top 50 charts.

A year on, however, she has given the album a second lease of life as Take Me a_Part, the Remixes. And she is not the only one giving their latest release a late-campaign buff-up: playful synthpop duo MGMT have gifted February’s underwhelming fourth album Little Dark Age a thorough overhaul from leftfield electronicist Matthew Dear, while Alt-J just dropped Reduxer, a “rap-heavy do-over” of their recent Relaxer LP which is, frankly, better than it has any right to be.

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