Audion: Mouth To Mouth Remixes

VA: Death is Nothing To Fear

When Matthew Dear first introduced the Audion guise, it struck me as a clever if transparent ploy to sidestep strategically the intense media glare brought about by Leave Luck To Heaven. Interestingly, the artistic and commercial success of Suckfish and more recently Mouth To Mouth is now starting to make it feel like Audion has supplanted the Dear persona (a balance which presumably will change again when Leave Luck To Heaven's successor appears). If “I Gave You Away,” Dear's latest Audion missive and the A-side of Spectral's first Death is Nothing to Fear installment (a second 12-inch and mixed CD compilation are scheduled for spring release), isn't quite a barnburner on the order of “Mouth To Mouth,” it's no slouch either. The 12-minute track opens with a bubbly bounce that gets promptly locked into place by snare claps and offbeat hi-hat patterns and then grows progressively vertiginous as wiry melodies build in volume and intensity. When Spectral collects Dear's recent Audion singles into a full-length format (as one presumes it eventually will), the resultant disc should prove to be more than the equal of Suckfish. On the jubilant B side, Pär Grindvik artfully weaves voice snippets into the buoyant techno-funk of “Casio” on his bubbly Spectral debut while Bodycode's “Exciting Ride” showcases once again Alan Abrahams' masterful talent for spinning endless fabulous variations on his slinky tribal-house style. With its braying female voices, “Exciting Ride” could be regarded as Bodycode's take on Deep House, though the tune impresses as much for the ease with which it breezily cruises and for the deft manner by which Abrahams modulates from one layer to the next.

Spectral Sound's latest Audion 12-inch features three “Mouth to Mouth” remixes by Minus star Heartthrob (Jesse Siminski) and Konrad Black (Wagon Repair, 240 Volts). Siminski weighs in with two jacking versions, his rollicking “Hot Breath Treatment” a wiry, burbling groove-fest that slips and slides in acidic splendour, and his swinging “Mantap Mix” tangentially reminiscent in its machine-based strut of Mantronix or Drexciya. The second Heartthrob mix is the more powerful of the two, an impression bolstered by the synth fireball that detonates early on and a bass rumble so deep it sounds like it escaped from a subterranean mine-shaft. Once Black's nine-minute “Whorenando's “Couch to Couch” Mix” gets its electro groove on, it doesn't look back. By the halfway mark, its rubbery synth-bass slam and insistent chords are beating one into submission no matter how one feels about it. In truth, though the disc is certainly decent enough, none of the makeovers rivals Dear's original. That Death is Nothing to Fear's material is all new also helps make it the more attractive choice.

April 2007