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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, some great music...but no original full album, 16 Nov 2011
M. B. Wilson "crushtrash" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Yesno Redux [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Interesting timelines for this release: the remixes by RHK were done 2005/6, the liner notes (essay) were in 2009, and the release comes in late 2011! Seems to have taken a long while to come to fruition, and as such RHK has not reassumed the Cabs name as he has on more recent remix projects.

Firstly to the 2 CDs of new mixes, many of which are not from the Redux film itself, but used in the extras on that DVD. I really like most of these revamps, as some keep the real vibe of the original, but make them more listenable. There is more percussion and a lot of looping going on, which is more his current styel, yet these discs work perfectly in their own right. Very atmospheric in places, unashamed dance in others - Yashar "Insurgent Mix" being prime example. Taxi Music appears in 3 guises (most appear in various mixes), the first 2 sequenced as one track effectively. Mix 2 has lots of the original bleeps but adds a lot more soul to the track, and it develops far more. Various mixes of Invocation and Premonition keep to the darker side, but there isn't a poor track amongst the 20 - 5 stars!

I had never seen the original film, and whilst it has a creepy noir charm of its own, I probably won't watch it very often. DVD1 features the orginal, totally unremastered (some nasty vertical green lines and lots of white marks make this feel a bit of cheap and hasty transfer). You also get the 3 extra videos and the Johnny Version 'summary', which have different original tracks on them to the main film. Yashar is a John Robie Dance Mix, but appears to be slight cut-up/variation on the vinyl releases on Factory 12" - certainly there were elements I couldn't recall from those 2 mixes, and some transitions seemed much rougher on this version.

The ending (after credits) leaves you wondering if he's still hallucinating or if in fact he did find her again - I suspect the former!

The second DVD is all Redux/new interpretations and extras, including an updated Yashar Video (to the Insurgent Mix) which still keeps elements of the original (Mal and RHK briefly appear). However any appeal the original held is lost totally in gore and far less artistic hallucination sequences (sliding up/down the cliff in the original was very weird to watch - no such creativity here). Whilst Peter Care is still a Director, I just didn't feel there was much point, and the ending was apparently one of several (if you check the (Partially) Deleted Scenes 'extra'). The rest of this DVD is crammed full of rather too many versions, reinterpretations and a totally separate end credits, although you do get a bonus remix of Loosen The Clamp 3 (accompanying 'Go Go Dancer') which didn't make the CDs. Split screens and oodles of blood didn't make this a worthy sequal...but you may disagree. 3 stars.

My only gripe is that the original full album by the Cabs is not included. There is plenty of room to add this as audio material on DVD1 (the original stuff), or move Redux plus the better extras onto the first DVD, freeing up space for a 3rd CD instead. A remaster of the original soundtrack, which includes longer versions and tracks that simply did not make the video version, would have been the icing on the cake.

Whilst I am grateful to Mute for releasing quite an eclectic box set, I think they missed a trick here (unless Mal/Chris didn't want their original included). As such the overall score is 4 stars (3 for the visual, and missed opportunities).

If you like Sandoz/Electronic Eye/RHK solo stuff you will love the CDs though, and purists of the original will find plenty to appreciate in his mixes too!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, no, maybe..., 20 Nov 2011
Colin Mccartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Yesno Redux [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Cabaret Voltaire are a major influence on electronic music - up there with Kraftwerk and New Order, but given much less credit. On that basis alone, this "redux" version of "Johnny Yesno", containing two CDs and two DVDs was, for me, an instant pre-order when I first came across it.

The Peter Care film "Johnny Yesno" I first saw in the mid-1980s as a teenager and found it to be...difficult.

The CDs contain new music and remixes from Johnny Yes No: Original Soundtrack - NOT itself included in this package - which form the basis of the soundtrack to a completely new version of the film which appears on the second DVD. The music stands up in its own right - this is not, and never was, a soundtrack LP in the traditional sense. These new CDs sound not unlike very late period instrumental CV - circa their The Conversation album.

The first DVD replicates the original Doublevision (the Cabs' own label) video cassette and stands the test of time very well - it's far from the avant-garde nonsense I remember from my youth and contains what, for the time, must have been considered some very innovative visual techniques. Lest we forget that Cabaret Voltaire and Peter Care can also take some credit for helping to invent the modern pop video as we know it ("fast cuts and degraded images" as their style was once described). If you're looking a nice high-def remastered edition of the old video cassette then you're going to be disappointed - I think the sound may even be in mono too. It does look better than the VHS, but it's still full of blemishes - and yet this seems to add a certain quality to the film - the sort of quality that Quentin Tarantino was maybe even trying to achieve on, amongst others, Deathproof [DVD]? I wouldn't be at all surprised if "Johnny Yesno" was an influence - it is that good.

The second DVD at first viewing appears to be a crude remake - in real terms I suspect it cost even LESS to make than the first one. After all, back in the early 80s, the sort of gear you'd need even to make a rudimentary film would set you back thousands of pounds, whereas nowadays any dude with a video camera and editing software can throw this sort of thing together. The new version does perhaps serve to add a few further insights into the plot, but other than that you may initially find this disc heavy-going but, stick with it. Towards the end there are some stunning visual effects - in particular on the videos for "Invocation/Waves" and "Yashar Redacted" which actually make disc 2 worthwhile overall.

All in all, more of a revision than a redux but still a very welcome and value-for-money addition to the Cabaret Voltaire catalogue (which I hear is hopefully to be expanded again soon when Mute re-issue their Virgin albums), recommended to fans and film buffs alike.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Curious and uneven...but VERY interesting, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Johnny Yesno Redux (Audio CD)
A very strange release from Richard H Kirk. The original film release whilst doubtless shocking at thje time, seems gfaintly silly now. The remake fares little better.

However, the new 'mixes' of tracks from Voice of America period of Cabaret Voltaire are very interesting. In fact, these are almost new pieces, but with samples from the old tracks dropped in. Some fall rather flat, but a good few work very well. The new version of YASHAR is the one particular standout, but several other good ones besides.

The video material comprising outtakes/oddities from the YES-NO film remake do at last make much more sense with these as the soundtrack. Whilst I remain a little puzzled, I am glad I bought this.
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Johnny Yesno Redux [DVD] [2011]
Johnny Yesno Redux [DVD] [2011] by Cabaret Voltaire (DVD - 2011)
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