Deftones reinvent ‘White Pony’ on ‘Black Stallion’ remix LP ft. Robert Smith & more – review
Deftones already released their excellent new album Ohms this year, and now they're celebrating the 20th anniversary of their classic White Pony with a reissue and a White Pony remix album called Black Stallion. The remixes were handled by an impressive cast of musicians, from one of Deftones' biggest influences (The Cure's Robert Smith) to one of their popular alt-metal peers (Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda) to veteran electronic musicians (Squarepusher, DJ Shadow) to a handful of great newer artists (Purity Ring, Phantogram, Blanck Mass, Clams Casino, Tourist, etc).
As you might expect from a musically diverse list like that, the album includes a variety of different takes. Blanck Mass turns "Elite" into something that sounds like his own pummeling industrial music. Purity Ring add their own vocals to "Knife Prty," making it sound like the exact middle ground between the original's heavy shoegaze and Purity Ring's maximalist art pop, and it sounds as cool in execution as it does on paper. Robert Smith makes "Teenager" even more ethereal than the original version and sneaks his own vocals in there, while Mike Shinoda gives the Maynard James Keenan-featuring "Passenger" festival-sized EDM drops that make the song sound like it was written yesterday. Tourist takes the stadium metal of "Change (In The House Of Flies)" and turns it into a clubby UK garage song without abandoning the original's charm. DJ Shadow, Salva, and Squarepusher all inject increasing amounts of glitch into Deftones' music, with Squarepusher's "Pink Maggit" remix coming out as something even more abrasive than some of Deftones' heaviest songs.
Black Stallion is a remix album that's assembled to be consumed as an album of its own, not just a collection of "extras," and the fact that all these various remixes work so well really speaks to how timeless and varied White Pony was in the first place. These songs will of course all sound familiar since they've been out for 20 years, but Black Stallion offers so much more than nostalgia; it makes White Pony feel new again.
Black Stallion is out now on Reprise/Warner, along with a new video for the Tourist remix featuring never-before-seen footage of Deftones filmed in 2000. Watch the new video and stream the album below...