Yard Rec, 2010
Narita Records and Concrete Plastic may both be on hiatus, but Yard channels their spirit on this self-published remix album. These mixes push the tech-house side of post-IDM (which I much prefer to the indie rock/folk side).
Arctic Hospital’s take on “Cascade” is digital claustrophobia with overpowering kicks and clattering syncopation. At the end it almost sounds live-mixed as beats go off-kilter and the bass cuts out. Karri O.’s “The King On Queen Remix” of “Whitefog” grabbed my attention with reverberating, distinctly analog sounds. I’m still a sucker for the dubbier side of things. Nice low-key melodies develop as well. Anders Ilar tackles “Portabello” with a mix that’s bass-heavy and murky. It’s too bad the elements aren’t clearer, because they have potential.
On his “Oligolecty Remix” of “Bees,” Eric McIntyre chops the original track into pieces, then slathers the remains with a dubstep amount of bass. Let’s Go Outside also focuses on some mighty low octaves in his version of “Under The Bonnet.” Groans and creaks sound like floorboards bowing under unbearable weight. The Rootsix “Co-Opted Remix” of “Synthetic Waves” has a decent build-up to an organ solo of sorts, but the notes are too jumbled to provide true release.
Rounding out the nine, Fisk Industries’ take on “Canopy” is forlorn, skeletal drum and bass. Yard’s own “Warehouse Remix” of “Pacquet” is surprisingly minimal with speedy, repetitive arpeggios over a rave beat. The album concludes with drones from Celer (Will Long and the late Danielle Baquet-Long). The piece, called “New Beginnings (Copper Globe Remix)” hums with a glowing warmth, in contrast to the almost clinical sounds which precede it.
These are gut-shaking, technical mixes with a lot of sound experimentation. I find it easy to lose touch with the outer boundaries of techno now that so many releases are MP3-only. This collection serves as a good reminder that there is still a tight-knit group of producers pushing computers to their limits.