I think the last time I played a computer game, it was 1984 or thereabouts. I recall trying to pilot a two-dimensional spaceship through a monochrome field of asteroids - without, it must be said, much success - to a soundtrack of monophonic bleeping. Well, much has changed in the world of computer games since then. These days, it's all frightfully sophisticated and very big business, and every game comes with a full-scale soundtrack. I mention all this because this CD represents Psychophile's contribution to the soundtrack of something called Project Gotham Racing - available now for X-box, kids. I take it you know what all this is about, because I certainly don't. But it's obviously a major step forward for Psychophile. For an independent band, getting a track on a mainstream computer game is a coup indeed.
There are eleven different incarnations of 'All In The Mind' here. The version featured in the game is, logically enough, the Project Gotham Racing 3 Edit - a slightly truncated 'n' adjusted version of the original (which is also here). It's a storming cyberpunk symphony of sampled orchestral stabs, revving engines, and Lucy Pointycat's agile vocal taking it all from a growl to a lullaby in the space of a chorus. Elsewhere on the remix-stack we find, as ever in these situations, a variety of reworkings which range from the inspired to the, erm, not quite so inspired. The Studio 12 mix adds a bit of drum 'n' bass flavouring, but, having had that idea, it seems the remixers didn't quite know what to do with the track aside from letting it trundle along. The Harry Ramsey mix slows things down to a loping dub groove, which isn't actually bad at all, but I find myself wishing they'd kept the vocal upfront and untreated, Ari Up style. The most unexpected version comes from History Of Guns, who essentially record their own tune - a roaring, battering thing of aggressive drums and disembodied bass-rumbling, which at times sounds like seven songs at once. Then they drop some chopped-up bits of Psychophile on top like a sprinkling of chives on a hot curry sauce. Cacophonous and audacious in equal measures.
If you're not familiar with Psychophile, I suspect this mix collection isn't quite the right place to start. The band's most recent album - the excellent Vodka Milk - provides a much more accessible entry point. But for fans of the 'phile, or for collectors of computer game ephemera (I assume there are such people), this release is a neat extra treat.