Monday, 14 September 2009

New(ish) remixes

Anti-Pop Consortium – Volcano (Four Tet remix)

In the last couple of years, and certainly in the period of time following his jazzed-out Everything Ecstatic album, Kieran Hebden has gradually been moving away from the organic, folk-influenced sample-play that characterized his early music as Four Tet. Last year’s Ringer took its major cues from Hebden’s recent DJ work alongside Border Community and others, consisting of drawn-out minimalist techno workouts that suddenly explode in a flurry of shuffling drums. The same influences have obviously permeated his remix work too – his latest, of Anti-Pop Consortium’s new single ‘Volcano’ takes nothing but the vocal track from the original and surrounds it in sharp, crystalline synthetic architecture. The effect is otherworldly, Hebden’s instrumental shimmering with grace and fragility yet given muscular poise by scathing turns from Beans, M. Sayyid and High Priest. It might be the greatest remix he’s ever put together – and that’s a big statement given some of his previous work.

Gang Gang Dance – Bebey (DJ/rupture and Matt Shadetek remix)

The spectral opener to Gang Gang Dance’s wonderful Saint Dymphna has been given the cut, chop and paste treatment by DJ/rupture and Matt Shadetek, who bolster the tightly syncopated tribal drum patterns of the original with a four-to-the-floor kick, lending it an even greater sense of urgency. Gang Gang’s cascading melodies and Liz Bougatsos’ inhuman shrieks are dissected and rebuilt into new, strange shapes, stuttering and looping over the metronomic pulse – yet the wash of ambient pads that underpins everything retains a calm, soothing aura even in the midst of each tiny burst of chaos.

Untold – Stop What You’re Doing (James Blake remix)

Hemlock artist and Mount Kimbie live associate James Blake has outdone himself - and even Untold’s mighty original - with a seriously warped take on the already off-kilter ‘Stop What You’re Doing’. Untold’s original is something of a sequel to his mightily strange ‘Anaconda’, and is due to come out on his new Gonna Work Out Fine EP in the next month or so; Blake’s remix is due a little later on its remix package. I haven’t had any luck finding any full versions of it on the internet for listening purposes (there’s a snippet on Hemlock’s Myspace), but it’s been rinsed by every DJ with a copy – Blackdown’s been playing it on his radio show, and Ben UFO knocked FWD>> to its feet when he dropped it in Plastic People a few weeks ago. Blake keeps the central melody intact but tears away Untold’s militarily precise drums, instead attaching a lurching synth and vocoder attack which swaggers drunkenly before collapsing in a heap. Quite simply, it’s fucking awesome.

Fever Say – Seven (Martyn’s Seventh Remix)

Karin Dreijer Andersson has managed to recruit some fantastic artists to remix the singles from her eponymous Fever Ray album. The latest single, ‘Seven’ has been reworked by (amongst others) Marcel Dettmann, Crookers and Martyn, whose contribution is his most overtly garage-infused track yet. Part of Fever Ray’s charm is in its odd combination of Andersson’s oft-mundane musings on home life with a turn of phrase and ethereal musical backing that verges on the fantastic. On his ‘Seventh Remix’ Martyn goes one step further, taking her talk of the kitchen sink and dishwasher tablets out of its frosty Scandinavian setting and melding it to a distinctly urban two-step shuffle. It changes little across its length, and loses some of the original’s ghostly beauty, but brings a little Arctic shiver to the warmth of London’s dance. NME gave away a low-bitrate mp3 version as a pre-release promo – find it here.

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