Ezekiel Honig and Morgan Packard: Early Morning Migration Remix EP Vol. 1

saidsound / Krill.minima: Macrofun Vol. 4

One of last year's most distinctive releases, Early Morning Migration has lost none of its understated luster in the months since it first appeared. On their first collaborative venture, New York composers Ezekiel Honig and Morgan Packard proved themselves to be so simpatico, their styles at times meshed indistinguishably. On this first of two vinyl releases (the second, scheduled for late 2006, will include contributions from Someone Else and Jan Jelinek), Honig and Packard pair three of the album's originals with animated overhauls by Socks and Sandals and Honig himself.

Swathed in creaking noises suggestive of boats gently rocking at port, the disc resurrects the album's “Tropical Ridges,” “Balm,” and “A Lake of Suggestions Pt. 1,” all three lulling ambient settings caressed by minimal Rhodes melodies and prodded by gentle tick-tock shuffles. The pieces are so entrancing, it's easy to miss the subtle details that distinguish them: gentle melodies that are no less beautiful for being so skeletal, the peaceful calm that dreamily envelops “Tropical Ridges,” and the hypnotic call-and-response between the Rhodes theme and deep bass line in "Balm," to cite three. On the B side, Socks and Sandals duo Sean Smith and Clark ov Saturn render the album's original material into almost unrecognizable form in their pumping banger “Eerily Marnin' Remix,” a cut as strong as anything on their own recent Shatter EP. While never betraying Microcosm's minimal aesthetic, noises incessantly detonate throughout the duo's skittering dub-techno overhaul, with the emphasis on funky clicking pulses, splashes, and rumbling bass lines. Returning home, “Honig's Tropical Plants Mix” (built from elements of “Tropical Ridges” and “Planting Broken Branches”) anchors the vessel with a languid, bumping shuffle to the creaking dock amidst accompanying sounds of clattering machinery.

Following past Macrofun volumes featuring Tundra, Captain Campion, Miskate, Socks and Sandals, Someone Else, and Honig, the fourth installment couples saidsound (a new Honig alias) with Krill.minima, a guise donned by Martin Juhls (perhaps best known for his Marsen Jules stunner Herbstlaub). saidsound's “My Laundry is Drying” nurtures its hypnotic vibe by streaming a gently wavering shuffle pulse through a mass of clicks, syllabic voice fragments, and field noises; a rather dark undercurrent shadows the textured piece, despite its generally restrained ambiance. An industrial ambiance haunts “Iltia” too, though in this case Honig's subtle menace is replaced with soft sparkle. Bathed in a hazy cloud and seeped in melancholy, the subtly euphoric “Iltia” is ambient dub-techno of the finest vintage, and the pairing of starlit themes with an insistently percolating squelch proves marvelous. At two songs only, the disc is over quickly but the material matches the strengths of its three precursors.

March 2006