Thomas Ragsdale / Gavin Miller: The Hagg / Avec Plaisir
This Is It Forever

This four-track EP from Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller should help tide worriedaboutsatan devotees over until the group's next full-length materializes. Issued on their own This Is It Forever label, the release arrives mere months after Miller's solo EP Illuminate, issued on USB lightbulb flash drive. That the new set is credited to the two as individuals rather than collectively as worriedaboutsatan makes sense, considering that each is represented on the release by a solo original; augmenting their contributions are remixes of same by Sunset Graves (UK artist Andy Fosberry).

It's admittedly a bit of an odds'n'sods collection but is no less pleasurable for being so. Originally written for a short film, Ragsdale's “The Hagg” wends its meditative way through a misty landscape of piano and shimmer; softly murmuring textures drift through the ambient backdrop to deepen the ethereal effect as the composition subtly builds in drama, more implicitly than otherwise as Ragsdale maintains firm control on dynamics and development. For “Avec Plaisir,” the product of a single jam session, Miller conjoined the sound of a purring cat to an analogue synth bass line and acoustic guitar to form a slow-building, eight-minute opus that's as much punchy 4/4 club workout as dark ambient soundscape.

The originals are solid, but Sunset Graves' remixes are so strong Ragsdale and Miller might want to consider turning worriedaboutsatan into a threesome. In Fosberry's hands “The Hagg” becomes a coal-black industrial-ambient epic intoxicated with hauntological fever; even better, “Avec Plaisir” retains its dual ambient-techno citizenship whilst punching up the club dimension with an irrepressibly funky groove. In my experience, remixes often amount to little more than afterthoughts, but that's hardly the case here: Sunset Graves transforms both tracks into bold cinematic soundworlds that considerably enhance the impact of the originals.

July 2017