Title - Variance III: The ‘Torsten In Queereteria’ Remixes
Artist - Andy Bell
For those not in the know, Variance III – The ‘Torsten In Queereteria’ Remixes is the third solo album by Andy Bell (Erasure) performing as alter-ego Torsten, a gender-fluid, semi-immortal who, having loved and lost many during an unnaturally elongated life, is left haunted by his lifetime of bittersweet memories.
Torsten is a role Andy Bell first took up at the Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival in 2014 in “Torsten The Bareback Saint”, and a role reprised by him in the critically acclaimed, 2016 follow up, “Torsten The Beautiful Libertine” which enjoyed a sell-out run at London’s Above The Stag Theatre.
The first album, Variance II: The Torsten The Beautiful Libertine Remixes came out in 2016, with the follow-up Torsten in Queereteria being released in 2019.
Variance III – The ‘Torsten In Queereteria’ Remixes (releasing March 20th, 2020 via SFE / Cherry Red Records) is a strictly limited edition 1,000 CD pressing of an outré, ultra-synth, pop-dance remix celebration of tracks from Erasure singer Andy Bell’s cult-theatrical side project, Torsten.
This quite magnificent album features two reworks by electronic pop legends Bronski Beat who have dance remixed the fans’ two most popular Andy Bell is Torsten songs, ‘I Don’t Like’ and ‘We Hadn’t Slept For Twenty Years’ in their signature retro electropop style!
Furthermore, Euro-poptastic remixer Matt Pop has created an evocative dance floor smash from the emotional Andy Bell is Torsten torch song ‘Not Opting Out’; this definitive remix is Andy Bell’s personal favorite of all the reworks ever done from his critically acclaimed Torsten songbook.
Previous Andy Bell collaborators, synth wizards Shelter, have also remixed a variant upbeat version of the Andy Bell is Torsten single ‘We Hadn’t Slept For Twenty Years’, a song celebrated by delighted audiences as the heart wrenching closing song of the recent ‘Queereteria TV’ stage show.
A further highlight is the deftly atmospheric electronic re-working of ‘Lowland Lowriders’ by Jerome Froese (ex-Tangerine Dream).
Variance III also includes two completely new songs ‘Lead Me’ and ‘Judgement’ that are exclusive to this album!
And as if there couldn't possibly be any more to report about this delicious album, well, the CD also includes four bonus tracks, a variant Andy Bell solo version of ‘If We Want To Drink A Little’ (previously a duet on the ‘Queereteria’ album with Hazel O’Connor), as well as the edit versions of songs, as issued to radio stations, of ‘Silence Is Golden’, ‘Not Opting Out’ and ‘We Hadn’t Slept For Twenty Years’, the last of which boasts alternative lyrics!
1. 'Not Opting Out (Matt Pop Club Mix)'
2. 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Bronski Beat Remix)'
3. 'I Don't Like (Bronski Beat Remix)'
4. 'Lowland Lowriders (Jerome Froese Retouched Mix)'
5. 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Shelter's New Mix)'
6. 'Lead Me'
8. 'If We Want to Drink a Little (Andy Bell Solo Version)' [Bonus Track]
9. 'Silence Is Golden (Radio Edit)' [Bonus Track]
10. 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Radio Version)' [Bonus Track]
11. 'Not Opting Out (Matt Pop Radio Edit)' [Bonus Track]
Phew, so, well, let's get on with the show, as they say, and kicking things off with the soaring 'Not Opting Out (Matt Pop Club Mix),' that synth-pop gem is then backed by both the stoic, balladesque 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Bronski Beat Remix)' and then the punchy one-two synth of 'I Don't Like (Bronski Beat Remix).'
The mid-tempo, hazy, meandering one minute, focused the next track 'Lowland Lowriders (Jerome Froese Retouched Mix)' is then followed by another 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Shelter's New Mix),' and then comes the sumptuous '70s R&B, funky groove-led, 'Lead Me.'
The mid-tempo, self-orchestrated solo dance floor turn 'Judgement' is then followed by four bonus tracks. First up is the artsy, tuneful spoken word ditty 'If We Want to Drink a Little (Andy Bell Solo Version),' with the mildly angst-ridden at times, self-reflecting at others, 'Silence Is Golden (Radio Edit)' up next.
This quite fluently brilliant remix album then rounds out with Radio versions of both 'We Hadn't Slept for Twenty Years (Radio Version)' and then 'Not Opting Out (Matt Pop Radio Edit)' brings the album to a close.
Official CD Purchase Link