[MP3, Tympanik Audio]
Following a tremendous response to Lucidstatic’s debut full-length Gravedigger released by Tympanik Audio last year the label has decided to offer a digital package of 16 new remixes of album tracks entitled Unearthed. The package is available direct through the label’s website and is priced at a very affordable $5. It is also being offered as a free bonus when purchasing the Gravedigger CD.
Lucidstatic is the solo project of Alaskan James Church who also records for Tympanik Audio under the name Pandora’s Black Book. On the basis of the critical acclaim Gravedigger received, Tympanik Audio were able to enlist the services of names such as Displacer and Unterm Rad alongside labelmates SE and Tapage and a host of new names to ensure Unearthed showcases a range of styles and remixing talent.
Opening proceedings is the first of four remixes of “Night Vision”, a hard experimental powernoise track mixed with some breaks and carefully chosen samples that sees Shad0w slow the pace right down, strip it back to basics and add some eerie atmospherics. Displacer focuses on the rhythmic break, gradually building in pace, adding some drifting tones and twisting the original samples ever so slightly for added effect. Around the halfway mark he decides to chake things up by introducing frantic jungle rhythms paired with the same dark but tranquil backing. Imperfekt’s remix resembles a horror movie soundtrack that forms into a fairly generic remix of the original from around its midpoint. The last of the “Night Vision” remixes is by Amphetamine Virus and is by far the most frantic rework of the track. Furious beats, frantic bursts of bass with a dark but discrete atmosphere surging beneath results in a remix worthy of their name – crazy and adrenaline fuelled.
“Inner Struggle” is an equally crazy track from Gravedigger; frantic but with more experimentation and industrial elements for added effect. Tapage starts his remix slowly and gently, building atmosphere and expectation before unveiling some restrained beats and a healthy dose of the now pre-requisite dark ambient tones below. Randomform maintain the atmospheric elements but add strange digitised beats that melt into the heaving backdrop but overall lacking much impact or presence. PiG FaT continue the theme but tease with simple beats that become increasingly metallic before unleashing a massive crashing beat which breaks down into distortion and strange electric buzzes before returning once more. Persian Minx stay pretty true to the original with drum ‘n’ bass rhythms but add ambient interludes and experiment with strange beat patterns and weird effects. “Defiance”, the closing track on Gravedigger is treated to two remixes by Tympanik’s own SE and newcomer Harpsichoid. The original, an experimental drum ‘n’ bass track paired with deep hazy ambient tones and a distinct experimental edge, sees SE transform it beyond recognition into a gently melancholic track with soft melodies and crisp but controlled beats that build and build slowly as the track progresses. Harpsichoid follows a similar route but instead matches a buzzing tonal backing with orchestral elements to create a sweeping rework full of grandiose and melody with a soundtrack quality.
Cut Paste Repeat’s remix of “Aux8”, a track originally loaded with rapid fire beats and drenched in distorted heaving tones, is a two minute experiment in repetition with an undulating repetitive buzz bass, occasional stabbing beats and ending with some fractured experimentation. Synchro Mode head down a similar path but instead add breakneck beats and a mass of crisp distortion. Mono Penguin slow things right down but add all manner of weird synth effects to create a strange remix that will probably be either loved or hated. The original version of “The Man Who Wasn’t There” is a mixture of distorted breaks, a swinging buzzsaw tone and what sounds like parts of a voice sampled and used as an instrument. In his usual style, Unterm Rad takes the original and subtly but brilliantly twists it making the beats harder, the pace slightly quicker and that bit more compact but with a darker tone. Subtle and understated but quite brilliant. Also completely reworking the original track to great effect are Ghosts in the Clocktower who create a remix based around low creeping drones with relaxed but sharp beats and drifting tones, utilising processed samples from the original mix and adding some of their own for extra creepiness. Another accomplished and carefully considered remix. The final remix is of the tumbling, optimistic “Warning” which sees Human Error turn the track into a sharper take on itself, making it crisper and more futuristic sounding in the process.
After the warm reception and glowing praise Gravedigger brought for both Chruch and Tympanik Audio, Unearthed is sure to be a welcome companion piece. Covering a range of approaches to remixing and the usual array of styles, Unearthed manages to maintain a level of consistency even with so many different remixers involved. The strongest contributions come from SE, Unterm Rad, Displacer and Persian Mynx for their stop-start remix tease.
Published by IglooMag [July 25th 2009]