Could there possibly be a better remixer than reigning glitch-funk meister Sutekh? Probably not, based on the evidence of the superb remix collection Born Again (split into a ‘2004-2005’ disc and a slightly clubbier ‘1999-2002’ set, with only the first available for review here) as Horvitz strikes a brilliant middle ground between honouring an original’s character and branding it with his own indelible fingerprint. Wielding computers, synthesizers, samplers, acoustic instruments, and found sounds, Sutekh ranges between techno, collage, house, and glitch without ever losing the funk.
He retains the sprightly character of Norwegian chanteuse Hanne Hukkelberg’s Little Things in his exclusive “Ease (In C mix),” a delicate, sparkling wonderland of Glassian textures and ostinati, and merges Kammerflimmer’s jazzy sound with signature glitch-funk moves in his “Absencen” overhaul; likewise, not a single iota of Murcof’s dark ambiance goes missing in “Memoria (Trisagion mix).” When a collection is so strong, it seems almost silly to highlight individual songs as peaks, but the impossibly deep glitch-soul-techno fusion of Ben Nevile’s “Vancouver and Fairfield remix” demands singling out. Similarly, the stunning ‘Guitar Heroes mix’ of TV Pow’s “Friendship Patrol” snaps to erect attention throughout as Horvitz surrounds its simple bell motif with dense swirls of writhing machine noise and wildly stuttering and careening voices. Elsewhere, the snappy re-work of o.lamm’s “Bed of the Cylinder in Three Concentric Zones” visits Dodge with Horvitz adding lonely harmonica smears to its throbbing groove while Ammoncontact’s “Baila con los Niño(s) (Trabajadores mix)” burbles and squelches in an infectious stutter-funk treatment. At disc’s end, Ned Sublette and Lawrence Weiner’s “Big Bang/New Flora (Death Row mix)” adopts a more collage-styled approach, mixing thunderous noise, spoken word (“Change the state, change the value”), “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and soul-funk into a strange cocktail that’s less coherent than the other material yet still interesting. Granted, it’s not original Sutekh material but, until that appears (the Context Free Media label head is currently putting the finishing touches to his fourth full-length), one can bask in the multiple pleasures Born Again affords.