Reviewed by sheikh ahmed (absorb.org)
this remix album of the µ-ziq / speedy j side project starts off with possibly one the most startling remixes we here at absorb towers have ever heard. the mighty boards of canada, from the outset, run away with 'best remixer' prize here with their beautiful adaptation of 'poppy seed'. their trademark rhythm's that sound like live drums back a powerful brew of ambient drones, subtle bass and what sounds like the airwolf theme being played on a very old synth. god knows what the original sounded like.
after that, anything else will sound ordinary. but the other artists here have attempts at varying degress of success. strangely enough, µ-ziq (mike paradinas himself), has a go on the restrained 'spc-ch-pn'. sounding like a facsmilie of glitch-house (a la jan jelinek or vladislav delay) he manages to throw in a variety of differing rhythmic ideas over its four minute span. planet mu artist leafcutter john turns in an odd take, while the horse opera effort can be avoided altogether (for the sake of your hearing if nothing else). having remixed them in the past, tipper return the favour with an excellently noisy blast of techno. starting off all abstract, surfing through electro and finally ending up with some digital scratching.
four tet take one of the best tracks, 'sutedja' and give it the post-rock party treatment. which means heavy drums and an odd range of wind instruments all adding up to a funky groove. you're twisting my knobs man! meanwhile, pole decides to have the original 'casual' playing on a broken gramophone down a well, while he strafes, clicks and cuts his way through several layers of reverb. and with nary a dub bassline in sight.
electronic u.s. heroes matmos take on 'moon base alpha' with some nice pad noises and crunchy beats. coil make a surprise appearance with the deafening 'fallen angels entering pandemonium'. the original was a noisy electronic take of hypnodrome rock. here, coil simply pile on layers of industrial noise while the melodic tick-tock of the original provides the beat. holding back on the abrasiveness and developing some simple melodies in its closing phases helps to make this an accomplished remix.
ending with a short beatless reprise of the boards of canada remix, it's safe to assume that there are more hits than misses on this varied collection. a successful remix (in our humble opinion) is one that retrains something of the original balanced with the individual musical input of the remixer. while it's certainly true that some of the mixes here are of a high quality, overall, this album just makes it into the 'as good as the original' category. so soon? only just.
- Various - The Cosmic Forces Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Defluxion
- Venetian Snares & Speedranch - Making Orange Things
- Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations
- Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither
- Mu Allstars - Criminal
- Hellfish & Producer - Constant Mutation (Mixed)
- Leafcutter John - Microcontact
- Nicole Elmer - Beef Bouilion
- Tim Tetlow - Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge
- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
- Jega - Geometry
- Capitol K - Roadeater E.P.
- Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks
- Jega & Kid Spatula - Unity Gain / Hard Love
- Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire
- Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon
- Tusken Raiders - The Motorbike Track
- Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon
- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row