All the versions of ‘Plastic Star’ presented here can be used as dance music, but the original was certainly not strictly written as a ‘track’ (with all the necessary functional frequencies in mind). The beats bump and pulse at the right pace and in phase, sure, but the emphasis is always on the sound, not the build. In other words, if you tend to prefer the Tiger Stripes remix of whatever EP, you’re unlikely to find much satisfaction with what a no-wave loving hard techno fan might consider to be a piece of stellar plastic.
In Sleeparchive’s hands, Olaf’s textures are dessicated and multiplied, while the claps are run through his signature empty corridor reverb. Dr Walker’s version manages to pull an arabesque melody (that might have always been there) into the foreground through the padded fug of reverbed and relooped beats. There’s also some nice beatwork which opens things up, and this one might sound great on a big system (or give Kool Keith the perfect backdrop to drop some doom-rap).
Meanwhile, back on earth, Nicolai’s remix brings things a little closer to the medically precise electroid kling klang that Frank Bretschneider explored on his outstanding Rhythm album (get it now if you haven’t). It’s a tight little slice of sine wave booty with plenty of sound-art junk in the trunk, and the pick for me.
This is an interesting direction for Raster-Noton and a very solid EP that really stands out from the dross. Noisy and nice.