Concrete Plastic / Bass Up Treble Down

DFPRMX is a compilation of remixes of the nine tracks constituting Yard's debut CD Deciduous Flood Plains (Chris H. Jones' disc came out on Concrete Plastic in mid-2007). Jones himself contributes a “Warehouse mix” of “Pacquet” while Arctic Hospital, Let's Go Outside, Karri O, Eric McIntyre, Fisk Industries, Rootsix, Anders Ilar, and—perhaps most surprisingly—soundscaping outfit Celer tackle the other originals. It's a consistently strong release that one might generally characterize as artful and sleek dance music made by machines and tailor-made for the club—“cyborg techno,” in other words. An orgasmic marriage of bass-heavy beat propulsion and android whirr and click, Let's Go Outside's “Under the Bonnet” perfectly instantiates the release's overall style. Standouts include Karri O's “Whitefrog,” whose pulsating dub-inflected techno groove teems with burbling keyboards and chiming filigrees, and Eric McIntyre's “Bees,” a willowy stream of staccato pulsations and hammering stutter-funk. Mixing it up is Fisk Industries (generally associated with Highpoint Lowlife) with “Canopy,” a hot-wired bottom-feeder whose skeletal, tabla-inflected tribal wobble lends the tune a stalker feel, plus there are feverish space-disco jams by Arctic Hospital, Rootsix, Anders Ilar, Yard, and others. Throughout the hour-long set, tight beat patterns give the tracks horizontal heft while multi-tiered arrangements of synthetic melodies and crystalline textures add huge vertical depth. Most of the tracks are in the six-to-seven-minute range which is ideal: long enough to get the point across but not so long that boredom sets in. The obvious outsider in this lot is Celer whose beatless, slow-motion reveries are about as far removed from dance music as one could possibly imagine. As one might expect, the “Copper Globe” mix of “New Beginnings” created by Danielle Baquet-Long and Will Long provides a prototypically sonorous exeunt to this otherwise uptempo collection.

November 2008