Is Avicii Opening Faithless To A New Generation Of Fans?

Is the EDM overlord helping open doors for new fans or just ruthlessly murdering a classic dance anthem?

Few tracks have landmarked the last twenty years of dance music like "Insomnia"

A bleary, teary bleeder of a track, it’s one of the most forcefully atmospheric dance songs of all time. It's a track that absolutely demands the term dance anthem.

This year "Insomnia" celebrates its twentieth anniversary. For two decades those chords have been pulling at the heartstrings of ravers as Maxxi Jazz’s sinister intonations drag them down into a dark spiralling vortex of mind altering madness.

To celebrate its birthday, Swedish EDM baron Avicii has given "Insomnia" a makeover. Calling the re-edit "Insomnia 2.0", Bergen’s remix will be the first in a line of remixes, given to classic Faithless tracks by the likes of Eric Prydz, Tiesto and Above & Beyond. Cunningly entitled Faithless 2.0, the compilation has been backed by the group.

It’d be easy to berate Avicii for trying to re-energise a track that in itself has been energising dance music for the past twenty years. He and his peers specialise in a type of music far away from Faithless' dark, South London rumblings - their playground comes equipped with lazers and a bad attitude.

A man whose best known for mashing up big room with country takes on a tune that has for many been the pinnacle of sonic perfection; it sounds like the beginning of a nursery rhyme.

Given Avicii’s history of using samples that sound like they’ve been ripped from a Mumford and Sons album, Insomnia 2.0 is a little left leaning. Vocal samples are almost intact and the ever recognisable building chord structure remains, giving way to nothing in a drop that seems more like a stumble. 

It makes for inexcusable listening, but the Faithless backed release is undoubtedly a move to open the group’s music to a new demographic of PLUR loving music fans. Legacy is cemented by an old-to-new baton passing, with the likes of Rudimental and Flux Pavilion taking on other tracks to remix. 

Does Avicii's take on Insomnia prove a banger or a clanger? Tune into Ministry of Sound Radio from 3pm to find out the word of the people. 

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Written by Tamara Roper

29 Jul 2015