In March of this year, The Prodigy released their 6th number one UK album, The Day Is My Enemy. Featuring singles like “Nasty”, “The Day Is My Enemy” and “Wall Of Death”, the album did well and was even dubbed “the strongest and most confident Prodigy album since [1997’s] ‘The Fat Of The Land’” by NME. On November 9, the band’s website announced The Day Is My Enemy (Expanded Edition) a mere day before the release date.
The new release mostly consists of remixes from the likes of Caspa, South Central, Prodigy founder Liam Howlett, and many many more. There is also a mash-up, a couple of live tracks, and an instrumental just to mix it up. The duration of the album is nearly two and a half hours long with original tracks included, and an hour and a half without. A long album can be great or abysmal, depending on its quality and the tolerance of the listener. For me (someone who loves the original album and gets bored easily), it didn’t feel very long at all. It was interesting to see how different artists remixed the same song, and the sheer variety in tracks and style was enough to stop me from constantly checking the song duration.
“Shut ‘Em Up”, was originally a fan-made mash-up on YouTube. With permission, Liam Howlett tidied it up and used it on the album, cementing the fan’s creativity in a public release. The song is a mix of Invaders Must Die end track “Stand Up” and Public Enemy’s “Shut ‘Em Down”. The tracks fit well together and the composition breathes new life into “Stand Up”. This is the only song which isn’t associated with The Day Is My Enemy. “AWOL (Strike One)”, another song from the expanded edition, isn’t from The Day Is My Enemy either, but it featured on related EP The Night Is My Friend.
“Nasty” and “Wild Frontier” have, overall, been remixed pretty well. There are three “Nasty” remixes altogether, and the first one by Spor is probably the best. The part that I am drawn to isn’t actually introduced until just over a minute in: a drum ‘n’ bass fast-paced beat that is most effective when listened to through earphones. There are large sections which are lyric-free, allowing the listener to become engrossed in the music. The Onen remix, however, I would described as a buffet mix: some sections of the song I will happily indulge in, others I’d rather leave untouched. Spor’s remix is more consistent, which makes me feel comfortable without being predictable.
After the “Nasty” remixes, come a bunch of “Wild Frontier” ones by KillSonik, Wilkinson, and Jesse and the Wolf. I am most drawn to Killsonik’s take on the track. It doesn’t differ hugely from the original, but it drags certain sections out, repeating and transforming them into their own blocks of sound. There’s one siren-liked noise which has been manipulated and put on repeat along with extra bassy elements, it’s a simple but very effective edit.
Jesse and the Wolf’s mix sounds most like something that would be played in a club; there’s also a groovy breakdown towards the middle of the track before it slows, a gun prepares to fire, someone shouts, and the original fast tempo is resumed. It’s a little like the “Yes! Oh my god!” bit from Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” (but not quite). Around half of the tracks from The Day Is My Enemy are remixed, and the album ends with an edit of “The Day Is My Enemy” by Liam Howlett, which sounds more satisfying than the original, even though it’s not that different.
With five years and six years respectively between the last two albums, The Day Is My Enemy (Expanded Edition) will serve as a good compromise for those who are already anticipating another album. Not only that, but the band – who have been going for twenty-five years now – hinted at the prospect of retirement in April: “I think that the band’s gonna come to an end at some point. And it’s got to be soon. It will end before we want it to because of the realities of age. There comes a point where you don’t want to be Uncle Alan at the wedding reception”, Keith Flint stated, though it was only mentioned as a possibility.
So far, the expanded edition is only available in MP3 format. It comes with all original songs, plus the extra new ones. You can pick it up on iTunes here.
Words by Shanade McConney