It's not hard to figure out the secret to Mathias Schaffhauser's success, moving as he has from light vocal house in the late '90s, through to clicky mid-'00s minimal and finally to a deeper, more refined late-night sound that's the mainstay of this remix compilation; he basically makes whatever's in vogue at a particular time. Luckily, Schaffhauser does it particularly well. Translating this ethos onto LP with the help of a breezy "collabs and remixes" concept, which he's used with two previous Re albums as well as 2009's Unequal Equality, Re:3 collects together an overview of his remix efforts from the past six months. This has previously tended to be a gamut of mostly inconsequential tracks with a few floor-friendly standouts, and that's pretty much what's offered here.
The opening track is a warm-up exercise in slinky bass and wet lead stabs whose template is repeated throughout. It's complemented with skin-crawling insect percussion, giving the proceedings a claustrophobic, but dead-ended, rabbit-hole vibe. It's indicative of the major issue with Re:3: Most of the tracks don't really go anywhere. That's OK if you're building suspense while warming up Room 3, but for home listening, hit-and-missing seems worse when it's done in an inoffensive way. There's a varied choice of original material, including surprise guest slots from Patrick Cowley and Krautrockers Faust, but Schaffhauser just applies a stencil and ends up with homogeneity. Faust turns out as a low slung loop and not much else, and the washy synths and chunky square wave bassline of the Leigh Morgan remix sound very familiar indeed.
When it's on the money, though, it's tasteful, pick-and-mixing elements from the weirder bits of Traum's back catalogue and the sharper bits of Paul Ritch's drum sample library. Later on in the album, the remixes of Breger and Gunne entice the freaks out to play with breathy, ambiguous phrases over a bed of slime; nothing new there, but he makes it sound fresh. The admirable production value shines on the better tunes; Philogresz's "Move Me" gets washed into a shimmering Moeller-esque haze which gets so close you can hear it smacking its lips. On some of the less successful numbers, it elevates what might otherwise be sub-standard to decent filler fodder. Nonetheless, Schaffhauser's functional approach often yields good results in terms of singles—and this album's got its share of them—but for today's ADD-stricken music fan, there's probably not enough here to chew for a whole hour.
Buy Mathias Schaffhauser - Re:3 at
Tracklist: Mathias Schaffhauser - Re:3 01. Henneberg & Stiller – Pluracell (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
02. Philogresz – Move Me (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
03. Leigh Morgan – Play Misty For Me (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
04. Faust - T-Électronique (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
05. Gunne feat. Delhia de France - The Awakening (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
06. Breger - Deine Therapie (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
07. Nooncat - Yoji (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
08. M2 - M2.02.01 (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
09. Catholic – You Laugh At My Face (Mathias Schaffhäuser Remix)
Other Ware Records reviews