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tag: remix

Hector Plimmer x Kidkanevil

A remix of a loop

Another great A/B listen, comparing and contrasting an original and its remix. First came “Tapeloop,” a brief, lofi, understated groove from Hector Plimmer. It’s high impact low impact, modest moves in service of a greater mood. There’s a brief keyboard riff, echoing lightly above a smothered, raspy handclap of a beat. Occasionally it pitches up or down. And then it slinks into the shadows. It’s called “Tapeloop,” and it’s barely a minute and a half long, so you hit repeat.

To the remixer’s credit, when Kidkanevil goes to work, he manages to augment and add, dissect and course correct, without ever losing what made the original so compelling. He glitches it out in a manner that reflects the original’s surface tension. He adds vocals that sound like someone doing hyperspeed play-by-play on the production. He injects and carves, but never loses the balance that made Plimmer’s source audio function. Kidkanevil plays Jenga with the building blocks, yet the material never even teeters. Not every remix needs to pay tribute to the original, but when it’s done right, it helps you understand the original.

“Tapeloop” originally appeared as the fifth track on Plimmer’s late 2019 album, Next to Nothing. The Kidkanevil remix is part of an ongoing series that has included Alex Harley, Matthew Herbert, Elkka, and Bex Burch.

Album originally posted at hector-plimmer.bandcamp.com. More from Plimmer, who is based in London, at soundcloud.com/hectorplimmer, twitter.com/HectorPlimmer. More from Kidkanevil, aka Gerard Roberts, at kidkanevilofficial.com.

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Loraine James and the Art of the Remix A/B

The club/IDM musician reworks a new Lunch Money Life track.

There’s nothing quite like a remix A/B, one of my favorite forms of listening pleasure: comparing the before and after when one artist reworks another. It’s all the better if the experience of the transition is reversed: if the original track is unfamiliar, and you hear it only after first witnessing a remix of it by someone whose work you already admire.

Such is the case with British club/IDM musician Loraine James, who has grabbed the track “Lincoln” from the quintet Lunch Money Life (off their new album, Immersion Chamber), and as if with so much Silly Putty reshaped it to match her own vision.

The original is exceptional groove-heavy electronic jazz. The band (Stewart Hughes, drums; Sean Keating, guitar; Luke Mills-Pettigrew, bass; Jack Martin, electronics and trombone; Spencer Martin, electronics and saxophone) finds new life in the genre, the key being how reworked the music sounds even in its first iteration. The track breaks frequently as it moves from phase to phase, different instruments taking prominence, digital effects adding glitches, echoes, and other treatments in unpredictable maneuvers.

And that’s before Loraine James takes hold of it. She removes any concessions to a live-band vibe, in favor of something that is very much in her own mode. She locates especially tasty rhythmic elements from the original and sets them on repeat. The tweaks she introduces then gather a more immediate sense of remove from the source material — and like so much sugar on top, bits of pachinko-parlor melodies get drizzled on throughout. And because it’s James, the track must come with a challenge. Eventually that dependable rhythm is encouraged to fall apart, to flail and jitter like Max Headroom after a particularly wild LAN party. In the process, James both helps the listener locate what makes the Lunch Money Life original so strong, and also manages to produce something that is very much her own.

Album and remix originally posted at lunchmoneylife.bandcamp.com.

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Panic Girl x R Beny

A remix from a forthcoming EP

Almost a year after releasing the album Cake on Jupiter, Munich-based synth musician Panic Girl has followed it up with a remix collection. Six of the original album’s eight tracks are reworked by the likes of ISAN, r beny, Mess Montage, Synth Witch, Jericho, and Lightbath. “Himalayan Tea” was the opening track on Cake on Jupiter, as it is here. It’s also the first listen we have of the record, due out October 9, 2020:

Below is the original for reference. Note the percussive undergirding, and listen for how it trails across the stereo spectrum. This is the stuff of which r beny’s dream was made. In his piece, above, the beat is gone, leaving some of inspiring sonic gentility in its wake.

Both Cake on Jupiter and Cake on Jupiter Remixes are available at panic-girl.bandcamp.com. More from Panic Girl (aka Martha Bahr, who is also half of Lucid Grain, the other half being Anatol Locker) at panic-girl.com.

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Current Listens: Noctural Tokyo, Philly Beats

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

This is my weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Deborah Walker’s Starflux, on the Elli Records label, ends with a spectral reworking of the prior tracks, committed by Emanuele Battisti, who also mastered the record and, thus, knew Walker’s work intimately. The metronomic rhythms of the source audio are re-rendered with a halo effect, the earthy original material turned into something intergalactic.

This isn’t music, per se. It’s an hour-long video someone took while walking around a neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan, at night. There is sound, however, the associated field recording of overheard chatter, and footsteps, and crosswalk signals. I usually have something like this running at half speed on a second screen when I work. Even better in black and white.

An added treat: the recorder of these videos, who goes by Rambalac, posts a map of the route. Here’s the one for this footage:

A couple months ago I highlighted a set of Small Professor’s instrumental hip-hop, and then missed the arrival of a subsequent downtempo hip-hop collection, A Jawn Supreme (Vol. 1). As the title might suggest, Small Pro, who traffics in expertly reworked samples, is based in Philadelphia. One highlight is the fractured piano lead on “Reflection,” in which the producer’s hand is just as light yet present as that of the original pianist.

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Cortini Plays with a PlayStation Score

Remixing Ghost of Tsushima

The forthcoming PlayStation game Ghost of Tsushima has an original score by Ilan Eshkeri (veteran of such movies as Still Alice and Dr. Thorne) and Shigeru Umebayashi (whose lengthy career includes House of Flying Daggers and 2046, the latter by Wong Kar-wai). The releasing game studio, Sucker Punch, has enlisted some big names in popular electronic music to rework cues. These include Alessandro Cortini (best known as a member of Nine Inch Nails), the Glitch Mob, Tokimonsta, and Tycho. The resulting EP is due out Friday on the record label Milan. Cortini posted his remix to his YouTube channel. It’s a thrilling, cinematic piece, at once densely atmospheric and yet also pulse-rising. Absolutely gorgeous. It’s as much an alternate cue as it is a remix.

Video originally posted at youtube.com. More on the game, due out July 17, at playstation.com.

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