Trainspotters and fans of the Spectral Sound label may have quietly noticed that two catalogue numbers never appeared in the labels march to their recent 64th release. The numbers in question were SPC-50 and -51, with 50 slated as the yet-to-be-released Spectral Sound Vol. 2 best-of compilation and this release, 51, a companion set of remixes with half on vinyl and, frustratingly, the other half as digital-only.
Of the three vinyl tracks, its hard to pick between Onur Özer's remix of Audion (pitting Istanbul vs. Brooklyn) or Barem's take on Kate Simko's "She Said" (Buenos Aires vs Chicago). The former is an epic adventure, replacing some of the creeping, slimy feel of the original with a more ethereal drift. The swoosh of voices intertwining with bongos and the generally lighter, yet more evolved percussion gives the feel of a fevered dream, but the overall mood and especially the pressured climax is all Özer and the Watergate sound.
Barem's remix is sparse at first, but like a trash compactor it gradually works its way in from the extremes with a dizzying array of thickening drones and plumbing echoes. By packing in less bass weight, it opens up more space to emphasise the original's sense of unfolding suspense and gives it something for headphones as well as clubs. Lucio Aquilina's Italian remake of newcomer Daso's distinctly German "Meine" is a sharp contrast, all fairy-light glee and old school melodies. The more overtly commercial sound is almost off putting at first, but the closing passages that fuse Kompakt-style pop with Traum's straighter edges works a treat.
Purists will be frustrated that neither Sami Koivikko's Finnish remix of San Francisco's Broker/Dealer nor the Box version of James T. Cotton's "Distant trip" are on vinyl. Where "Soft Sell" is hypnotic and uplifting, riding Valkyrie-like on an epic Krautrock synth storm, "Distant Trip," meanwhile, is a heavy electro march, both menacing and dirty. Remix specialist Ryan Elliott's version of Osborne's "Bout Ready to Jack" is a tidy finish, but almost incidental being so short, digital-only and parked at the end.
Buy Various Artists - Spectral Sound Remixed at
Tracklist: Various Artists - Spectral Sound Remixed A Audion - Fred's Bells (Onur Özer Remix)
B1 Kate Simko - She Said (Barem Remix)
B2 Daso - Meine (Lucio Aquilina Remix)
Broker/Dealer - Soft Sell (Sami Koivikko Remix)
James T. Cotton - Distant Trip (Box Version)
Osborne - Bout Ready To Jak (Ryan Elliott Remix)