Deepchord: Vantage Isle Sessions
While I wasn’t blown away by the vinyl release of this a year ago, the CD version has grown on me, especially since it makes great driving music. The other day on an afternoon trip to Albuquerque, I cranked up these mixes, and the combination of road noise and puttering chords was perfect.
The three “DC” versions are relatively straight-forward. Dull beats thud under meandering, reverberating synths. The third part is the best of the bunch, thanks to a wider range of synth tones and some welcome syncopation. I find the Echospace mixes more interesting. The “Glacial” version is built from waves of shimmering sound which crash around chord pulses for three minutes. The “Reshape” doesn’t resemble Basic Channel’s famous remixes since it lacks their signature bass, but the echoes, noise swells, and Pole-like crackles are a welcome change of pace. “Spacecho Dub II - Extended Mix” is a much longer version of a track from the original vinyl. The clattering chords are reminiscent of Basic Channel’s “Radiance.”
My favorite mix is by Convextion (his first remix for another artist). Reedy, distant synth tones sound like a science fiction soundtrack overheard rooms away. An undercurrent of echoes, many difficult to describe, drift in a sonic syrup.
The two CV313 mixes are new to this release. “Reduction” has a wonderfully deep bassline. Some reggae-inspired bits emerge near the end. “Reduction II” is mainly soft surface noise. “Echospace Excursion” is another exclusive. It is similar to Echospace’s latest work, with a fleshed-out bassline that strikes me as more house than reggae. As on the “DC” mixes, I wish the bass drum was a bit less generic.
Modell and Hitchell must have both drawn a lot of inspiration from this single track, generating a dozen of their own remixes over a half-dozen years. As a result, this release is a great overview of their output to date. The early mixes are straight-forward dub techno, while the newer ones are more varied. Under their Echospace and CV313 monikers, both men have become prolific producers. I look forward to their experiments with a wider sound palette.