On a label that releases mostly disco-oriented material, Samuel Annands work as Architeq sticks out like a sore thumb. You might liken it to a lot of the wonky instrumental hip-hop going on across both sides of the pond at the moment, but Annands' funky basslines and stumbling organic breaks give him a groove that distinguishes him from the rest—think Syclops on Mogadon, and you're halfway there. This remix package deals mainly with the title track from last year's Birds of Prey EP, with Annand providing a dub mix to round things off. It's a dub version in the traditional sense of the word, with a heavy skanking bassline providing the anchor for his deft delay manipulation of the other elements. Back over on the A-side, three different producers attempt to put their stamp on the original version, with mixed results.
DC Recordings artist Kelpe is first up, sculpting the synth riff of the original into a rolling electro-disco slow-bomb, loping along on its squelchy groove and building up an intense atmosphere until a jaunty riff comes along about two-thirds of the way through and ruins the energy that has been building throughout. Fulgeance fares better with his version, beefing up the drums and using micro-sampling techniques to restructure the track into his own heavy hip-hop style. Despite the low tempo it's definitely one for a packed dancefloor, with its rigid rhythm and cascading bass riffs. Fellow Frenchman Débruit's effort sounds pedestrian in comparison, and even a few crunk-friendly "whoa!" samples can't save it from being the most forgettable of all the remixes on offer here. However, Stones Throw man James Pants contributes a downtempo electro-boogie take on "Sleeping Bear Lament," stripping the original back to its see-sawing bass riff and padding it out with looped vocal samples and gently prodding melodic synths.
It's always good to see imprints taking risks and experimenting with new sounds and styles, especially when it reaps gems like the versions offered by Pants, Fulgeance and Architeq on this release.
Buy Architeq - Birds Of Prey Versions EP at
Tracklist: Architeq - Birds Of Prey Versions EP A1 Birds Of Prey (Kelpe Remix)
A2 Birds Of Prey (Fulgeance Emotronical Mix)
A3 Birds Of Prey (Débruit Remix)
AA1 Sleeping Bear Lament (James Pants Remix)
AA2 Birds Of Dub (Architeq Version)