VA: Spectral Remixed
Spectral Sound

Spectral Remixed, a mini-complement of sorts to the imprint's fiftieth release, Spectral Sound Vol. 2, features three international artists remixing three recent cuts by Audio, Kate Simko, and Daso. Istanbul-based producer Onur Ozer tackles Audion's “Fred's Bells,” Argentinean Barem molests Kate Simko's “She Said,” and Italian techno artist Lucio Aquilina takes on Daso's “Meine.” Bettering an Audion original is a next-to-impossible feat and certainly Ozer's version doesn't supplant Dear's own. Nevertheless, Ozer's percussion-heavy treatment brings an earthy, Latin-flavoured funkiness to the more linear rhythmic character of the original, and the handclaps, vocal murmurs, cowbells, bongos, and timbales scattered across Dear's already-hallucinatory track bolster its dizzying and disorienting feel. In what seems like a perfectly natural fit, Barem succeeds better in his handling of Simko's material by intensifying the track's kinetic propulsion and deepening its rhythmic heft without overshadowing the gyroscopic synth elements in Simko's original. Rather surprisingly, the Aquilina take on “Meine” might just be the most satisfying of the three, given how gleeful, buoyant, and bubbly the high-spirited makeover turns out to be. The tune's synth-swizzling, galloping techno rhythms rush frantically forward as if late for some critical appointment.

A shame, though, that Spectral stingily chose to leave three digital-only cuts off of the 12-inch release. Certainly the inclusion of respective remixes by Sami Koivikko and Ryan Elliott of Broker/Dealer's “Soft Sell” and Osborne's “Bout Ready To Jak,” plus a new version by Tadd Mullinix of his James T. Cotton track “Distant Trip” would have made Spectral Remixed a whole lot more appealing, not to mention more representative of Spectral's catalogue in its entirety.

January 2009