Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed
o discuss a remix LP is difficult without at least touching upon its source, but Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed is so removed from Abscencen, the album of which most of these selections are reinterpreting, that it hardly matters. Many big names in avant-garde electronics and post-rock show up for this compendium, the combination of two different remix EPs, and very few of the presentations fail to either better or offer interesting takes on the originals. In fact, one of the only thing that distinguishes Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed from other such projects is that it contains tracks that don't sound like their original source whatsoever. The most obvious and perhaps the most successful of the bunch is Secondo's remix of "Unstet" a slow burner on Abscencen that, here, mutates into a tech-house major leaguer, sounding like Booka Shade creating an homage to Tortoise.
The trick to Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed is that the artists, rather than create a world all their own, occupy the environment of Kammerflimmer Kollektief and refashion it to their liking. Jan Jelinek's remix of "Unstet" falls in line with the subtle gradations and sound crumbs of his work, but also reflects the push-and-pull repetition and languid movements of post-rock. Though an incessant, wistful guitar figure remains for the course of the piece, the levels of static and sound, the random, brief appearances of notes and instrumentation, and the dynamics shift throughout, so that Jelinek both sticks to his aesthetic and also hints at his source. Radian's take on "Equilibrium" (titled, simply, "Radian on Equilibrium") takes a similar approach: beginning by experimenting with different cymbal sounds, the piece slowly adds various vibrations and tones before swelling into a gorgeous pastiche of cadence and harmony, then gently washing away in a fountain of vibes and keys.
Some try to pattern their compositions on the work of their more notorious compatriots. Opener David Last's remix of "Matt" benefits from some interesting percussion but is fastened by an annoyingly ceaseless warped sound effect that detracts from some of the more interesting aspects of the production. Hans Appelqvist's remix of "Shibboleth" is unfortunately rooted in elevator jazz and a derivative acoustic guitar pattern, while Noze's remix of "Lichterloh," which at first comes off like an excellent Four Tet remix of Do Make Say Think, questionably drops into German scat and pop-house vocals.
If anything's holding Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed back, it's that few tracks truly stand out on their own. At its best, Remixed provides interesting and radically different takes on a rather uninteresting band. At its worst, the remixes presented here remain as humdrum and platitudinous as Kammerflimmer Kollektief.
Reviewed by: Tal Rosenberg
Reviewed on: 2006-08-15