Sneaker Pimps X-cited About Upcoming Remix LP

Album includes new versions of songs from 1997 trip-hop debut Becoming X.

When all was said and done for the upcoming Sneaker Pimps remix album,

Becoming Re-mi-X-ed (March 10), Pimps songwriter and producer Liam

Howe decided that maybe he shouldn't always listen to that little voice inside

his head.

After all, if he had, Becoming Re-mi-X-ed probably wouldn't have

included the work of Grammy-nominated remixer and house producer Armand

Van Helden.

"I was going through a bit of an anti-house period at that time," Howe, 26,

said recently by phone from England. "Our manager said it would be really

good to have an Armand mix, but I wasn't really sure. I was kind-of iffy.

And then it came through and it was great. It was actually a good decision

on our manager's part. It's something I wouldn't have chosen myself -- and

sometimes that's the best way."

Becoming Re-mi-X-ed includes 10 interpretations of songs from

Sneaker Pimps' 1997 trip-hop debut, Becoming X, including the

modern rock hits


to_Mix.ram">"6 Underground" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Spin Spin

Sugar" as well as "Walking Zero," "Post Modern Sleaze," "Tesko Suicide" and

"Roll On." The group marshaled several notable producers for the compilation,

including Roni Size, Simon Warner, alt-rock sexymen Girls Against Boys and

Paul Oakenfold.

But the name that will likely draw the most attention to Becoming

Re-mi-X-ed is Van Helden's. The 27-year-old New Yorker was recently

nominated for a Grammy award in the newly inaugurated Remixer of the Year

category. Among the dozen examples of his work cited in his nomination are

the "Dark Dub" and


Garage_Dub.ram">"Dark Garage" (RealAudio excerpt) mixes of

Sneaker Pimps' "Spin Spin Sugar," both of which are included on Becoming


Van Helden said he liked Sneaker Pimps' original recording of the

song, although he said that the track sat for a long while among the

massive piles of cassettes in his house before he eventually listened to it.

"Finally I put it on and I listened to it and I was like, 'This thing is

pretty cool,' " Van Helden said by phone from New York. "The thing that I

caught is that it was half the speed of house. It was like 63, 64 beats

per minute, so if you double that, it's 128 bpms -- that's house.

That's exactly where house needs to be for me. I was like, 'Shit, this is

going to be easy.' Then when I started to make it, I was putting the

vocals in over a real simple, raw beat, that's when I knew: 'This is gonna

be nice.' "

Howe called the process of assembling Becoming Re-mi-X-ed a bizarre

change in perspective, because typically he and bandmate Chris Corner remix

their own work. "A lot of the people [on the album] we did handpick and

choose, but some of them we didn't," he said. "It's funny because often the

ones we didn't choose we liked the most."

But Howe has mixed feelings about remixes, he said, explaining that if a remix

doesn't address the song it is based upon, it risks becoming self-indulgent and

unnecessary. Contributing to this uncertainty is the fact that Howe is both a

member of the more traditional band Sneaker Pimps and a remixing side

project known as Line of Flight. "So at the same time that we love and are very

much involved with remixes," he said, "we also have a very traditional streak to

us which thinks the song is the most important part of the musical dynamic ... It's

difficult. My favorite remixes think and work with the original idea and take it


Color="#720418">[Thurs., Jan. 22, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]