Various Aritsts: Rewire – Part A (Touchin’ Bass)
Rewire is a compilation of tracks created in response to visual works by the Gamma Proforma label. Andrea Parker curated the selection and called on a variety of reputable electro and IDM artists to react to the material, and the results are varied but pretty consistently interesting. The one-two punch of Cristian Vogel and Luke Vibert right out the gate flexes not only some heft by virtue of each artist’s storied reputation, but both tracks are also quite cool; Vogel’s fragmented electro feels exciting and both nostalgic yet forward-looking, while Vibert turns out a reliably cool, squirmy uptempo electro number. That electro thread continues elsewhere through tracks by Quinoline Yellow and Bogger, but not everything is so accessible or easily categorized. Arovane has been pushing further and further away from his pretty melodies lately, and “Die Eitelkeit Der Tone” is no exception. It simmers and sputters for five minutes, never even touching on the emotive side of several of his preceding albums. It’s nice to hear new tracks from artists I associated mainly with the melodic and glitchy IDM scene circa 2000, like Einoma’s “Sculpt Beginning” which is a slick techno track that shares some of the hypnotic minimalism of Efdemin’s album last year. It oscillates between gridded 4/4 techno and a triplet 12/8 meter, which helps break up the track into more discrete passages.
EVAC’s coarse blend of IDM and hip hop is a welcome departure about halfway through, with a heavy-handedness that brings a certain kind of cool that otherwise had been absent. Andrea Parker collaborates again with Daz Quayle on the prolonged, haunted sigh of “Response,” which has far more in common with the previous live album than any of the other tracks here, except perhaps for Dalglish’s “Dubhach Fasach.” But these are interpretations and reactions that don’t necessarily have any other unifying theme, so the mixed bag of sounds herein is ultimately a strength rather than a distraction. Plaster’s contribution, by contrast, is a massive arp neo-trance number that succeeds primarily by virtue of its swelling beatlessness. Certainly a mixed bag as varied as its contributors, but it’s a nicely solid collection of tracks that deliver both some expected and unexpected gems.