Nothing like a little cross-pollination. The Wandering Ear netlabel got its start as a pure-sound alternative project by the folks who’d earlier started the Dark Winter netlabel. While Dark Winter (at darkwinter.com) focused on studio concoctions, Wandering Ear (wanderingear.com) presented field recordings in all their unadulterated, raw goodness. Its first four entries included motor boats in a Minnesota lake, dawn at a mosque in Istanbul, life deep in a Brazilian forest, and the lull of an Australian beach. That last entry flirted with the artificiality of studio composition by melding multiple recordings, as highlighted in the Disquiet Downstream of January 15 (link). But the latest from Wandering Ear, Melt: Minnesota Remixed, dives deep into the land of sampling, offering up over two dozens mixes based on the raw goods of the label’s first release, Thaw: Field Recordings from Minnesota. Key tracks include the watery drip of Lasse-Marc Riek‘s “Canoe Trip Retoure” (MP3) and Scott Sherk‘s more modal take on the same source material (MP3); listen closely to how the heavenly hum and background chatter of the original serve different purposes in each. Hats off, as well, to the otherwordly desolation of Horchata‘s “Thaw Remix” (MP3) and the looped and layered bird calls of Joel Krutt‘s “Avian Reduction” (MP3).