Unsurprisingly the idea of a commissioned remix album by an enthusiast release label Boltfish reveals a plethora of diverse electronica talent to refashion A Memento for Dr. Mori. Akin to great remix albums it is a matter of the refashioned version outstripping the original. Although it does not hold together as a whole entity as in the case with single artist remixers applying their touch to a whole work, it has the veneer of a coherent whole not always available with remix projects. The original is a fusion of electronica with acoustic and instrumental sound sources which include “electric and acoustic guitars, accordion, melodica, harp, recorder, violin, thumb piano, ukulele, vocals, and recordings of old super 8 projectors and other random noises.” These are combined with vintage analogue keyboards, electronic textures and treatments, understated glitchy edits and downbeat broken beats inspired by IDM and abstract hip hop. Quite a lot of data for remixers to get their teeth around and its very surfeit combined with multi-instrumentalist approach of Ed Carter lead to a large range of possible results as a data set and an interesting diverse range of sounds pique the creative interest.
Fieldhead’s remix of “The Maid” opens this 11 track album, hiss and crackle in the background of bright electronic beats imitating a xylophone, cut up with hip-hop techniques and crisp beats. Dextro takes on “Cuts and Tears” making a fast shuffling multi-layered event which has the sense of a pianoforte on speed amongst synth washes and skittering effects. “Occam’s Razor” is in the good hands of “The Gentleman Losers” who apply field recordings, a slow beat, a melancholic air, excellent guitar work, almost exotica for the northern climes and an understatedly smooth production. Paul Sleazes “Fallen Fruit” utilises heavy echo and reverb on the vocals to create the slightly disturbing psychological effect, over a complex slow electronic funk. Damian Shingleton weilds the beat and shaker with wonky bass in “Bokor”, along with a melodic acoustic guitar line it moves the slower warped end of the dance floor. “The Flute Player” is one of the crisp clear winners on the album, cut down to essentials by Mint and whose production and effects create a classy hip-hop instrumental with classical intonations. Cheju’s take on “Fall of Stone” is acoustic guitar, stuttering cut up technique and a synth tones layered amongst the bright electronic twinkling. “Kinay 816” is wrought into a down beat jazz number with glitched out narcotic feel and truly fucked up sampling especially on the background singer samples which make it sound like some ritual singers being slowly tortured. Animat’s version of “Guidonian Hand” has an eastern feel amongst the beats, not elicited by the instrumentation but the structure is almost Carnatic, it is a slow shaking intricate vibe. “Opportunity Mist” has a slightly ominous touch by John Ashton, long slow indecisive tonal sequences struggle to gain a coherence and then gradually find a severely warped groove. “The Declining Winter” end the album with its remix of “Barrel Organ” taking diverse parts and creating a sparse and eclectic sound part hollow part full, resounding guitar and electronic tones along with a strange hollow thud that elicits a feel almost of futuristic hillbilly.
The remixers choices have obviously been tempered by the use of Boltfish stable artists yet the range of talent from further afield gives added flavour to the album. It is a well-made affair by an artisan producer of instrumental and electronic work turning to those whose work he admires to enhance the results.