Album Review: Tiesto – Kaleidoscope Remixed (2010 LP)


When Tiesto released Kaleidoscope in 2009, it was met with mixed reactions. Although it was clearly a commercial success, a lot of critics and fans were divided, with some panning it and others declaring it the most adventurous record the trance producer/DJ had ever done. He certainly earned a lot of respect for pushing the boundaries of the dance genre by collaborating with some of indie music’s luminaries – Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Metric’s Emily Haines and Tegan and Sara among them. On record though, it was a disappointment: while the songs’ glossy, pop music sheen may have given him a more mainstream audience, the lack of edgy tracks seemed to alienate his more devoted fans.

Although Tiesto has remained adamant about his stance on Kaleidoscope, a remix album felt necessary. Indeed these tracks – some remixed by Tiesto, others by notable DJs  – gave Kaleidoscope a much-needed makeover, with a stronger focus on the more traditionally progressive elements of electronic music.

The real standout of both this record and the original is the bittersweet title track featuring the ethereal vocals of Sigur Ros’ Jonsi. Here it is remixed by fellow trance heavyweight Ferry Corsten and the driving beat and fleshed out synthesisers has made the song much more dance floor-friendly and anthemic. In similar vein “Here On Earth” featuring the Cary Brothers bears the distinct progressive trance hallmarks of DJ/producer Nic Chagall. Tiesto himself has done well with his own non-vocal songs, most notably an extended version of “Surrounded By Light”, which sounds more in line with his former work.

Some tracks still suffer though, and it’s hard to listen to tracks like Tegan and Sara’s surprisingly cheesy contribution “Feel it in My Bones” (remixed by First State) or the Mysto & Pizzo reworking of the Emily Haines track “Knock You Out” without thinking of suburban nightclub dance floors. Still, the songs on Kaleidoscope Remixed are more cohesive and more imaginative than the originals. It may not necessarily get the rock lovers onside, but the extended trance family will be breathing a sigh of relief.

Review score: 7/10