Fontaines D.C. – Televised Mind

12th March 2024 · 2020s, 2021, Dance, Music, Postpunk

When I first saw and heard Fontaines D.C. they were the most exciting new guitar band I’d seen in decades. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their second album but Dave Clarke’s remix transforms the song into a dancefloor banger.

At the time of writing it, the Irish band had been listening to a lot of The Prodigy and Brian Jonestown Massacre – especially the latter’s song Open Heart Surgery – and were going for a similar droning, hypnotic feel.

The original version, from A Hero’s Death, is dark and mysterious, tense and repetitive beneath its wall of guitars, singer Grian Chatten gloomily reciting the phrase “What d’you call it?” like an ominous mantra.

Televised Mind takes on a new life on Dave Clarke’s remix, the so-called Baron of Techno removing the guitars altogether and layering his minimalist Moroder-like electronic soundbed with dub-like effects and vocal samples.

It needs to be played LOUD and I imagine it sounds even better through a giant club sound system, but this will have to do for now. It’s also sent me back to the original with more enthusiasm than I had at the time, Chatten’s description ringing in my ears:

“This song is about the echo chamber, and how personality gets stripped away by surrounding approval. People’s opinions get reinforced by constant agreement, and we’re robbed of our ability to feel wrong.

“We’re never really given the education of our own fallibility. People feign these great beliefs in order to appear trendy, as opposed to independently arriving at their own thoughts.”

Amen to that.