Published by Alessandro Violante on March 5, 2017
Creating a remix album which doesn’t sounds to the listener as an idea conceived by an artist or a label only for commercial purpose isn’t a simple task. Trackology Remixes, the new album by the German musician Mike Erkau, better known as The_empath and released by Hymen, the Ant-Zen sublabel, is a sort of tribute paid by ten rhythmic industrial and IDM artists to the kaleidoscopic album Trackology, released two years ago.
Defining it as an appendix to the “original” wouldn’t recognize its value, considering that the artists here involved, from Heimstatt Yipotash to 16pad Noise Terrorists (well known by whoever is already into this music genre) have created incredible versions of Erkau’s songs. Trackology Remixes perfectly synthesizes the philosophy behind the label which has published it, as Hymen means research on the language of sound.
While listening to the songs, we can recognize how often the artists have given their personal interpretation to them, sometimes creating something very different from the original (take as an example 16pad Noise Terrorists), starting from a motif, being it a small synth line or a beat, and then focusing the whole composition around it. Trackology had something in common with ‘90s electronic music, but with a darker mood, and it’s not by chance in a recent mix published some time ago, The_empath has put some FSOL in his own selection.
The album begins with the remixed version of Into the by German Huron, who cuts the melodic motif of the original song and pastes it in his rework with a Burroughs-like technique, centering the whole composition around it while adding an ambient-like synth. He moves through thin IDM rhythms, and the almost solemn mood of the original song here is transfigured into a syncopated, refined dance. The following Arab spring is remixed by Mortaja, a song originally with a main atmospheric-cinematographic imprint, now transformed into an epic mid tempo with a grandiose melodyabsent in the original version.
Realign power geometries, originally a straight to the point episode in the halfway between obscure drum ‘n bass and IDM, in the reinterpretation of Tonikom loses its strong dance elements, adding to the formula the Arab sounds of the previous song while introducing a drum machine that, if listenined carefully, seems to mimic the original one. One of the key moments of the album is the aforementioned remix made by 16pad Noise Terrorists of the syncopated number Unknown subject, in which the dull beats, the trademark of this project (which particular sound was introduced in their music by Dj Hidden during the mastering of their albums), and the almost jungle sounds melt very well together, always keeping a changing tempo in the song. The result is abstract, totally different from the original, and convincing.
Another very smart remix is the one made by Signalstoerung for Below&above zero, deconstructing the melodic motif of the original song, transforming it in a sequence of sounds evoking those generated by the hardware of a computer, as well as a morse code. Under the hard and compact beats of Klima, Nwo_hindsight acquires more strength and heaviness, adopting a techno beat. The album ends with the dark ambient remix made by Mandelbrot for Synus (one of the projects of the unstoppable Philipp Münch), synthesizing the original song, while adding to it a slight danceable beat, which stays in the background.
The context in with these artists-researchers move is a genuine music universe in which the research of a trendy sound isn’t what they are looking for. Trackology Remixes is your chance to enter into the world of Hymen, to listen to two very inspired and dynamic albums and, basically, to discover the music shaped by this German versatile musician.
Label: Hymen records