They say that you can’ polish a turd, but isn’ that what remixers are paid to do? After all if the song were any good why would it need to be remixed? Or if for example a dark industrial pop band wanted to appeal to the electro glitch community why not make an electro glitch tune instead of giving a couple of young guys from Chicago a bucket of money to work something up from your latest colour by numbers angst ridden tome (okay yes there’ a Nine Inch Nails remix here but we’ll get to that later).
As a rule these kinds of collections are patchy, but often depending on who’ twiddling the knobs and slapping down the new plug-ins, there can be moments of utter transcendence, where you wonder if new genres of music are being created before your very ears. With this in mind despite suggesting they follow no formula, it’s a little disappointing that these Chicago based producers seem to predominantly be following, well, a tried and tested formula. We’ve got the previously unreleased remix of Nine Inch Nails ‘Even Deeper’ in which they heighten the atmospheres and create a skeletal electronic beat of low key percussion and glitches, then there’ label boss John Hughes’ piece where they place a electro glitch beat around low key wisps of guitar. Do you sense a pattern here? Midwest Product, Phil Ranelin, Nitrada, ditto, ditto, ditto. Maybe this chilled beat orientated programming is implicit on their being hired. It’s hard to know, and it’s not to say that these tunes don’ sound good, the Hughes and Marc Hellner in particular are corkers, it’s just that there’ nothing new and adventurous which seems a waste. Yet they can deviate, and these deviations are the highlights. Oliver Nelson’ Stolen Moments has not a beat in sight, an almost orchestral ambient piece that is absolutely stunning and a collaboration with Tortoise’ John Herndon of AmmonContact’s ‘BBQ Plate’ yields a couple of left turns, ending in a fiery post rock section.
Bob Baker Fish