SYN REVIEWS: Client Liaison – “Diplomatic Immunity” Remix Album
Words by Claire Norman.
Photo from Client Liason’s instagram.
Following on from their 2016 successful debut album, Diplomatic Immunity, Client Liaison are back in our feeds, without actually having released any new music. The jazzy Melbourne boys have released Diplomatic Immunity Remixed, an album featuring all eleven tracks from their original LP reworked. While many of the tracks take the songs in a new direction, the ever-present bold ‘Australiana’ aesthetic Client Liaison has developed shines through, as every artist featured is Australian. Lead singer Monte Morgan highlights “…we only noticed halfway into the process that everyone was Australian. It was a really nice surprise to know that this presented itself instinctively” – highlighting the homegrown talent we have pouring out of Australia.
The ironic angle Client Liaison take to Australian politics with their mixture of political jargon and senate arguments, combined with kookaburra and didgeridoo sounds is not lost in the remixed work. The remix album opens up somewhat slower than the original however, with the Dreems remix of ‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’, in that it literally starts with a slowed down version of the original song. While the 8 minute stripped back remix is not quite as bold and initially upfront as the original, the remix does not lack the jazzy drum beats and unique edits Client Liaison are known for. This is followed by the Panama remix of ‘Wild Life’. While again, this is a softer, more muted version than the original, the song has smooth, cruisy vibes, that really make me want to take a drive along the Great Ocean Road. This easy listening is very typical of the Panama sound, with bold use of piano and synths to exude the sound of the original power ballad.
When Client Liaison arose in 2014, it was truly difficult to determine whether their late 1980s aesthetic was a joke or reality. The boys perform live in matching coloured power suits, have choreographed dances and huge Foster’s beer cans on stage, and hand out the internationally iconic but locally disregarded Australian beer to those in the crowd. Since then, the aesthetic has remained and is one of the reasons Client Liaison are such a powerhouse live act. Along with the dancers who often frequent their shows, Client Liaison are no stranger to the Australian special guests they invite onto the stage. This has included Daryl Braithwaite who joined them for ‘Horses’ at Beyond the Valley music festival in 2015, before it was cool to include the classic track in every party playlist made, as well as Tina Arena at Splendour in the Grass festival in 2017, performing the song she features on, ‘A Foreign Affair’. Their shows are a true spectacle and the commitment to the unique, entertaining aesthetic they create has garnered them a lot of fans.
One of the highlights from the remixed album is the Luke Million remix of ‘Off-White Limousine’, a song that has allowed for a lot of gags for Client Liaison, arriving at the 2017 Aria awards in an off-white limousine that broke down just in front of the red carpet. As well as this, you can now hire the iconic off-white limousine and select one of three Victorian tours in the car if you feel like living in true style. While the remix cannot offer you these luxuries, the song is just as glitzy as the original, complete with the sounds of a special effects keyboard sprinkled throughout the track.
Another highlight is the Muki remix of ‘Do It My Way’, a track very reminiscent of Porter Robinson and his video game inspired tunes with sped-up lyrics and sound effects galore.
While the original song sounds similar to those from the era of original tech-house music in the early 2000s, a relatively modern sound for Client Liaison, the remix modernises the song further. Adding a smooth rap verse, the Muki remix has a much more hip-hop sound, potentially bringing a lot of new listeners to the sound of Client Liaison.
While the original album remains current, the remixed version is able to bring a new life to Diplomatic Immunity. The aura of Client Liaison is quite specific and has led to a niche fan base, however the introduction of new genres to their sound via the remix album can allow many new fans to enter into the ‘World of Our Love’ of Client Liaison.