[Reviewed by stark]
Over these almost ten years of my journalistic “career” I unrefinedly have let you know what I think about remix albums in several occasions and publications. So I will not repeat myself. To put it mildly, my approach is skeptical. However in the case of “Dead City Voice | Remix Project” I felt a little bit curious, mainly because of the interesting and varied selection of invited guests.
The order of remixes is exactly the same as on the original “Dead City Voice” CD, which begins with “1 + 1 = 1” This is my favorite part of X-NAVI:ET’s album, proving that Rafal Iwanski knows more about music than mathematics. Yannick Franck is responsible for the remix; a known experimenter, whom I associate mostly with the good album “Memorabilia” and with his collaboration with Pietro Riparbelli released by Silentes. The Belgian extends the original to almost seven minutes adding a handful of reverb, slow pulsations and mutually overlapping layers of metallic background. Is it better? I don’t know; in the end this is what remixes are about – at least theoretically – to add something from yourself and thus enrich the original version. The remix certainly sounds more powerful but less primal, taking a particular turn towards industrial and style drone.
I must admit that I’m not familiar with the music of Peter Votava hiding behind the Pure moniker. “Mutagenocidecadentia” (I wrote this title without checking, yay!) was characterized by those vocal loops taken from vinyl straight from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Peter renounces them (or processes them in such a way that I’m not able to identify the original source) for a more extensive space and subsequent digital bliss disturbators.
You probably remember that “Schism” – next to the “369 Luna Park” was probably the most violent song on “Dead City Voice”, piercing with its primal industrial, deftly creating the atmosphere of being hunted down. “Schism” was inherited to the legendary Z’ev who unfortunately for my ear turned out to be a disappointment. He added some massiveness to the sound, but at the same time drowned it in an aural fog in such a way that the track became more fuzzy and unclear. In general, it’s industrial of an average sort.
Stara Rzeka, Kuba Ziolek’s project, has just released a farewell album in Instant Classic. Too bad. Kuba cuts and concretes in my opinion a bit too long, though having added an acoustic guitar sequence to the trance-like charm of the eight-minute long “Tinnitus Auris”transforms it into a pleasantly flowing, almost … a song.
I also like the original “Garden Paradox”, with that rusty swing which is a prelude to the dark and restless rhythm being a genuine voice of the dead city. And how would a shamanic Rapoon have to deal with it? In his own way, by surrounding the sound in wind and water, deconstructing the playground, leaving only rusty rods and rotting pieces of wood.
The finale belongs to Mirt, who from the saturated with industry colossus has created a nicely throbbing piece of ethereal analog ambient, hiding deeply this metallic rasp, which however is still noticeable out there somewhere.
The musicians have taken Rafal’s call very seriously and creatively, making the whole thing more than decent. It’s good to listen to listen to both CDs consecutively, to appreciate the work of Yannick, Peter, Z’EV, Kuba, Robin and Tomek, creating sometimes better, sometimes worse, but always a whole new level of sound. I didn’t change my mind about remixes, but sometimes in a pile of mud one may find a gem.