Prog-rock legend Robert Wyatt and Geese (two members of the Elysian Quartet) join Hot Chip on Hot Chip with Robert Wyatt and Geese, a victory lap of sorts to the band’s 2008, which included the release of their well-received third LP, Made in the Dark, and sets at major festivals like Coachella. While the EP is largely superfluous, and is meant as a fan-friendly set (it’s only available at Think Indie record stores), there are certain bemefits gained by letting Wyatt and Geese have their way with four of Made in the Dark’s tracks.
“We’re Looking for a Lot of Love” benefits most from the reworking. The original was a bit of a slow, sentimental mess sandwiched in between two dance numbers. The new version (remixed by Geese, and featuring lilting vocals from Wyatt) plays like Hot Chip’s slow jam — a song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a late-‘90s R&B mixtape.
“Whistle for Will” gets more prickly thanks to Wyatt’s added percussion and vocals, and “Made in the Dark” is recast as a sound sketch, with layers of added cornet, jaw’s harp, and vocals moving the vocals a bit to the back of the mix. The most radical reworking is the Geese remix of “One Pure Thought,” which removes any remnants of the original’s shimmering and syncopated backbeat, and replaces it with churning string arrangements that makes the song into a ballad like the other three tracks.
Made in the Dark seemed like a minor case of bait-and-switch with Hot Chip, since they rode to prominence on the back of one of this decade’s best dance tracks (“Over and Over”). But Hot Chip with Robert Wyatt and Geese presents the album’s slower songs as more than just skip tracks in between danceable moments — Hot Chip sees the future as much in evocative ballads as they do in moving asses.