Taking their cue from Throbbing Gristle’s throbbing take on industrial and post-punk electronics (incidentally, TB’s ‘Walkabout’ is the mix’s opening track), the Optimo guys are digging into the darker and colder corners of their 12” collections and mixing vintage digital noises from Suicide and Pan Sonic with recent minimalist cuts (Thomas Brinkmann’s ‘Momomexico’, Marc Houle’s ‘Bay of Figs’). They’re even giving in to current semi-hits by showcasing the Smith & Hack celebratory remix of Herbert’s ‘Moving Like a Train’… but don’t expect this album to soundtrack breezy terraces this summer: ‘Walkabout’ is precisely suited for the neurotic hours of the early morning, alone at home, watching paint dries and flies die.
You could dance to it, of course, but only if you don’t mind feeling like you’re heavily suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and looking like one of the pear-shaped disgraceful creatures that are gracing the album’s cover. Interrupting the mix right in the middle with some atmospheric post-rock by Boris (the actually quite beautiful ‘My Machine’) or closing with orchestrated flute (!) from DFA’s own sonic terrorists Black Dice probably doesn’t really help either in terms of busting a move or two. In the end, it’s probably just better if you shake a leg in your head since this is obviously a walkabout for your mind: Optimo will get inside of you, but this time, you won’t feel violated. Who knows, you might even enjoy it.