In fact, when I first got the single, I had to listen back to the album to realize that I had heard it before. That's not because the track isn't distinctive, simply that it tends to get buried in the album's mist of hazy arpeggios and refracted harmonics, overshadowed by the preceding "Holkham Drones." One of the more unstable cuts on an album that dances across quicksand, "Trans Forest Alignment" seems to dissolve midway through: beginning with an uptempo churn that sounds like Robert Hood arranged for music box and hurdy gurdy, it all but abandons the beat after just two and a half minutes, collapsing into a procession of weary drones before finally petering out in a modular whimper. It's an unusual choice for a single release, but a welcome one. Once cornered on its own, what seems like a wallflower in the context of the album's babbling bustle opens up in unexpected ways.
Gavin Russom is almost too obvious a choice of remixer for Abbott, given the way both artists like to play with corkscrewing lines and shimmering analog color, but his remix is surprising nonetheless. In contrast to the original's boisterous, neurotic crash and burn, Russom plays it relatively straight. He strings out Abbott's chiming, flickering chords over lithe, upbeat conga rhythms and sculpts resonant drones into a 10-minute arc; from its demure opening, it builds like a blush in the cheeks, warm blood and nervous flutter, before finally coming back to earth in a long exhalation of breath. That's a lot of metaphors, but I have a hard time not gushing when confronted with music like this, a riot of color and motion.
RocketNumberNine, a new duo affiliated with Kieran Hebden's Text Records, take their remix in another direction entirely, shuffling off the high-end chords and focusing attention on a nervous new bass melody; they recut the drums into a loose configuration that flits between 2-step and tightly threaded techno. It's the tone colors that really stand out, though, with coolly bubbling mid-range arpeggios set against a fine, treble spray, moving like mountain water over burnished rocks.