20 years ago, on June 20, 2000, the Deftones released White Pony and made an impact on the word of metal that sent ripples across the planet. The band’s third album was a critical and commercial success that showcased the group’s talents and elevated them to superstardom and, although they have continued to create some of the most boundary-stretching music, White Pony truly was their magnum opus. Tunes like “Digital Bath,” “Passenger” and the now-iconic “Change (In the House of Flies)” became instantly timeless even turning heads of those that can’t stand rock, demanding that they took notice.
2020 has been a nightmare for music, but whilst this is true in some regards, musicians across the globe have taken the time to create incredible new songs and the Deftones not only graced us with the incredible Ohms (read our review here) in September but also had begun gathering some of the most talented DJs, hand-picked by the band to breath new life into this record for it to be reborn as Black Stallion. This would be a monumental task given White Pony’s iconic stature even for the likes of DJ Shadow, Mike Shinoda and Squarepusher, but I am pleased to report that, not only, did they do the originals justice, they created songs that were recognizable yet new.
Opening with “Feiticeira (Clams Casino Remix),” the heavy beat of the original is there, but only momentarily as the tune devolves into a deep and slow beat that deconstructs the original to its most basic elements. DJ Shadow’s take on “Digital Bath” is, in a word, incredible! The atmosphere created in the original was easy to get lost in until the chorus pulled you out, but DJ Shadow deepens the experience creating a euphoric experience that is almost inescapable.
Taking on the task of remixing the already soul-grabbing nature of “Passenger’ is Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda. Shinoda delivers an outstanding vision of this already exceptional track, the electronic additions to this tune go beyond what I thought possible, turning this already golden tune into pure platinum for the senses. Finally, it would be a crime not to highlight what Tourist brought to the table for “Change (In the House of Flies).” This already fine piece of fried gold had one of the most hypnotic melodies that pulled you deep down the rabbit hole, but Tourist flipped this creating a relaxed, yet fast-paced beat that has you nodding along intensely whilst keeping you in a state of pure relaxation.
Black Stallion is an incredible selection of remixes that truly pay homage to the source material, however, given the stature of the original collection of tunes on White Pony, in no way are they surpassed. You cannot approach this record looking to compare each track as you will find nothing but disappointment, but if you sit back and appreciate what this gathering of talented DJs have done by resurrecting an immortal album, you will return to that day 20 years ago you first heard White Pony and feel like you are hearing it for the first time.
Black Stallion Track Listing:
1. Feiticeira (Claims Casino Remix)
2. Digital Bath (DJ Shadow Remix)
3. Elite (Black Mass Remix)
4. Rx Queen (Salva Remix)
5. Street Crap (Phantogram Remix)
6. Teenager (Robert Smith Remix)
7. Knife Party (Purity Ring Remix)
8. Korea (Trevor Jackson Remix)
9. Passenger (Mike Shinoda Remix)
10. Change (In the House of Flies) (Tourist Remix)
11. Pink Maggit (Squarepusher Remix)
Run Time: 52:43
Release Date: December 12, 2020
Record label: Warner Music