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31 July 2015

Akkord: HT030 (Houndstooth)

This odd remix EP from post-techno sculptors Akkord sat unlistened to in my downloads for a long time, and after finally giving it the attention it deserves I can safely say I wish I’d done so sooner! Loyal readers may recall my enthusiasm for their previous full-length and Navigate EP, an edgy hybrid of angular beatmaking and intricate detailing. For Houndstooth’s 30th release, Akkord hand over production duties to two kindred spirits, the Haxan Cloak and Vatican Shadow. What’s most interesting about the Haxan Cloak remix is that it’s less a remix and more a general reinterpretation of the entire HT020 EP that surfaced in 2014. It starts with a murmur but eventually builts to a thunderous bouncing-ball lurch of beats, noise, and effects. It builds to a massive repetition of descending deep bass and accompanying swirls of noise, like entering the chaotic epicenter of a looming disaster. It’s an interesting diversion from Akkord’s usual more crisp and precise approach to dance music as well as from the Haxan Cloak’s pitch-black last album for Tri Angle, an effective melding of the minds. Not one for DJs but instead one for fans of immersive, consuming headphones listening — turn it up.

The second remix is a hybrid of “Typeface” and “Greyscale” from HT020, though I’d argue that it doesn’t necessarily sound much like either one of those originals. In contrast to the outer limits explorations of the Haxan Cloak, Dominick Furnow has grounded it with a steady four to the floor kick and moody looping phrases of pads.

Crisp claps — borrowed from “Typeface” — appear intermittently, while some of the droning atmospheres from “Greyscale” find their way into the arrangement. It’s far more friendlier for dancefloors than either of the originals (and especially compared to the Haxan Cloak treatment that precedes), likely to work on a set aimed at fans of more moody and minimal sounds. Another solid entry from Akkord, Vatican Shadow, and the Haxan Cloak alike — fans of any one of these projects will find something to like here.

Buy it: Houndstooth | Boomkat | Bleep | iTunes | Amazon

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