Diebombshelters: Voodoo

Diebombshelters' (Scott Blais and Jesse Johnson) “Voodoo” is a shape-shifting and disturbing collage that was recorded on election night in 2004—a partial explanation perhaps for why its thirteen minutes are so downcast. The piece's sounds are faded and dusted, with collapsing beats, muted horns, field recordings, string flutter, and the bleeding residue of shuddering guitars leaving a soggy trail of evidence for forensic listeners to analyze. Whatever it is, it's certainly evocative: listening to it, the image that mentally forms is of a bound and chained body being dragged through a forest and into some abandoned cellar while vultures circle overhead.

The mood brightens dramatically on the flip side where three Horsepuncher (Mike Gates & Lucas Rathke) remixes re-animate the still-warm corpse. Limiting themselves to parts of “Voodoo” only, Gates and Rathke give the original a wholly altered character. A buoyant house pulse initiates Rathke's opening treatment before an arresting mid-song segue into hip-hop drops, after which the house groove just as abruptly resumes. In his first of two mixes, Gates opts for a grooving mélange of electro, funk, and techno, plus works in some sliced voice edits for added flavour, and then softens the mood in a second mix of downtempo funk and hip-hop that's easy on the nerves. Aside from being sonically interesting, Voodoo bolsters its appeal by pairing such radically contrasting styles on its two sides.

December 2006