Alright now: for all you boppers out there in the big city, for all you street people with an ear for the action… This is a special for The Warriors (that real live bunch from Coney), an EP of brooding lo-fi tracks with them in mind. Can you dig it?
Much of this will of course depend on how familiar you are with Walter Hill’s wonderfully bizarre 1979 cult classic The Warriors. It’s blend of comic-book style visual flair, urban decay, fantasy gang violence and wooden acting has inspired much admiration since it’s release, and Belfast crew Warriors of the Dysotheque have been moved enough by it’s cheesy goodness to record ‘Return To Coney’, which works as a type of alternative soundtrack.
Although containing five tracks, the EP is essentially two songs: the four different mixes of the title track are joined by the menacing ‘Escape From Coney.’ Escape From Coney has an appropriately post-punky, late 70s vibe, channelling the particularly urban paranoia of much of the experimental music of the day. The track adds swirling synths and spaghetti Western horn lines along with understated Neil Young lead guitar that bring the song to a nightmarish crescendo. The track cleverly plays on the film’s New York setting to recall Lou Reed’s darkest ventures in to the city’s nightlife, with the song sounding like it could have easily fitted on Reed follower Iggy Pop’s David Bowie produced Berlin-era masterpiece The Idiot.
The title track channels Barry De Vorzon’s original theme, albeit with a modern twist. Keeping in with the original intro with atmospheric drum samples, the ‘radio edit’ forgoes the schlocky 70s hard rock of the original version for more nuanced, even jazzy instrumentation, as if the theme was remixed by Kid A era Radiohead. Ella Joy adds haunting vocals that compliment the low-key electronics, and her performance is used in different ways by each remix. The Candi Bianca remix adds a slick drum beat that propels the song’s hypnotic quality. The Miaoux Miaoux remix offers a fascinating modern acid interpretation, but the standout moment on the EP is the ominous ambient remix by ATTRITION. Starting slowly with Joy’s vocal very much at the forefront, it adds layers of beats and percussion over the five and a half minute running time, the track fully takes off and reveals itself as the most rewarding listen on the release.
Whether you can tell your Grammercy Riffs from your Baseball Furies, or your Boyle Avenue Runners from your Turnbull ACs, there’s still much to like here: Warriors of the Dysotheque present an EP that highlights the talents of each contributor and will be of interest to anyone that appreciates moody, lo-fi soundscapes and electronica.