Remarc - Sound Murderer
Reviewed by Adrian Huth (Exploding Plastic)
A recent look at prices for Remarc 12 inch singles place these albums in the range of between $25 to $50 a pop. There is a reason as demand is high and supply is limited as the original tracks are favorites of DJs in the drum n' bass arena and enjoyable documents of a true original in pioneering the jungle and ragga styles of hardcore dance music. Maybe to the dismay of ebay entrepreneurs, Planet Mu has put together a 3xLP and compact disc compilation called Sound Murderer which contains exclusive Remarc tracks and remixes released previously on labels such as Whitehouse, Sub Base, Kemet Records, and even his own Dollar Records.
After an opening intro the collection proceeds with "Not 4U," and we are reminded immediately of the now infamous "Amen" breakbeat style taken from The Winstons song "Color Him Father." * Intricate kick and snare patterns create a rhythm that would become the heart of jungle music. Add some vocoded vocal samplings, some dub bass hits, ambient chords, and one DJ Remarc (Mark Forrester) with skills developed since youth and one begins to understand the creative forces contained in these tracks. Standouts include "Drum N Bass Wise (Remix)," which illustrates a unique tension and balance to Remarc's style which pushes with the steady manic rhythms and yet pulls one to relax at the same time with mellow chord stabs. Another track, "Sound Murderer," samples seventies funk TV anthems and mixes them with Jamaican vocal stylings and whistling that prove an artist willing to take chances for the audience with playfull arrangements where everything feels essential in the mix and yet is simple enough to leave the audience wanting more.
What is also amazing about these tracks is the historical perspective it brings in looking at the current resurgence of hardcore elements in electronic music. Where Remarc achieves a balance with of sound which both challenges the listener and is enjoyable to the audience, artists of today continue to try and understand by bombarding the listener with too much to focus on or too much minimalist redundancy. Besides offering a nice collection of tracks which could run a serious collector three to four hundred dollars, ultimately Planet Mu (despite a couple of favorites, most notably "Ricky" and "Press the Buzzer" (a collaboration with Brainkillers) being absent) has released a historical document any musician could learn from.
- 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