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In A Classically Remixed Mood

Ryuichi Sakamoto
(Ninja Tune)

Just in case you didn't get enough remixed Ryuichi Sakamoto the first time around with his Prayer/Salvation EP, Ninja Tune obliges with another 5 solid tracks remixed from the same Dischord release that the previous pieces were taken from. While the other EP features big names like Andrea Parker, Oval, and Panasonic, this EP doesn't let down either with Amon Tobin, Talvin Singh, and Chocolate Weasel among others. Once again, it's a fairly long release (over 30 minutes), and well worth it's lower release price.

The EP starts out with some lush strings at the beginning of Amon Tobin's reworking of "Grief." Although it's a sampling of the original, Tobin adds some very ominous tones to it all, as well as some unsettling chimes and sound effects before he drops one of his trademark slamming breakbeats under everything. Not to be outdone, Rare Force offers up a shuffling mess of a thick beat on their 2 Meg mix of "Anger."

Actually, if one could use one word to describe the unifying theme of the different mixes on this release, it could quite possibly be "layered." Besides the edit of the original "Anger" at the very end of the disc, every track on the release is layered with so many different elements that it's interesting just to try to peel them all apart with your head. Talvin Singh's mix of "Anger" does just that as well, adding all kinds of screeching sounds, an absolutely crazy beat, and some middle-eastern sounds into a pot and stirring vigorously to create something better and more interesting than most of the tracks off his own solo release. Chocolate Weasel closes out the last of the remixes with flushes of horns and screeching strings behind a super-filtered beat and absolutely monster bass pulses.

Anger/Grief obviously makes a very nice companion release to Prayer/Salvation, and despite a couple funkier tracks on the latter release, things tend to stay more on the darker side. Combined, the two releases completely eschew conventional wisdom that the remix release has to be a stale affair of tossed-off, barely different mixes. Instead, this release contains almost no sound of the original, yet showcases some very solid efforts by the different artists.

Rating: 7.25