Two Lone Swordsmen
It took me over a year to finally catch up and get ahold of the last Two Lone Swordsmen release (Tiny Reminders) and after hearing its brilliance I wasn't about to slip up for so long again. Granted, Further Reminders came out quite awhile ago as well, but I'm a little bit more back-on-track, and for a somewhat slightly obsessive (or maybe more than slightly) music collector, being one step closer to catching up is a good thing (but an ultimately unreachable goal).
Instead of jumping back on topic, allow me to remain slightly off-topic for just a little bit longer. While I've been a fan of the cover art of the last two Two Lone Swordsmen releases, this release is comparitively boring. An inverted photo (which isn't particularly interesting) graces the front cover, and the back cover (and liner notes) are printed in red on baby-poop brown. Needless to say, it's damn hard to even read the tracklisting, but perhaps that's part of the point from the shifty duo. Granted, we know its all remixes, but this way it becomes a little harder to know just who did what.
As mentioned above, this disc is comprised of 11 different remixes of tracks from the Tiny Reminders album that came out nearly two years ago. It runs nearly an hour long and there's an absolute huge variety in both the remixers in styles that the tracks run through. It flows nicely for the most part, and despite a few down moments (which I'll get to), things succeed and in some cases take the tracks in completely new and exciting directions. A couple of the exceptional (in that they sound unlike anything you'd expect to hear on the disc) are the remix of "Tiny Reminder No.1" by C-Pij and the remix of "It's Not The Worst I've Looked, Just The Most I've Cared" by Lali Puna. The former is a downbeat, acoustic track (that feels like it could have come from a Projekt release) with only a slight hint of the original while the latter completely pitches most of the original elements out of the track and vocals are added by Valerie Trebeljahr that basically turn it into a new Lali Puna track (which Andrew Weatherall probably quite enjoyed given his recent praise for their Scary World Theory release).
Turning in some remixes that sound more like what you'd expect (but still work quite well) are the Two Lone Swordsmen themselves on a remix of "Rotting Hill" that is basically a reshuffling of elements that turns the upbeat rumbler into a mid-tempo stomp. Dry And Heavy give "Neuflex" the dubtastic treatment while Simulant cranks up all the right elements on "Brootle" to keep it thumping. Unfortunately a couple mixes don't really do much more with the original material, as both the Decal remix of "Neuflex" and the Klart remix of "Brootle" basically sound like the originals with the tempo sped up.
While the minimal, epic reworking of "Bunker" by Villalobos is nice in a swervy dancefloor way, it probably could have been trimmed down a bit from almost 10 minutes. Fortunately, Calexico returns the remixing duty favors from their Even My Sure Things Fall Through and turn "Tiny Reminder No.3" into a beautiful, desolate track, adding horns and hollowed-out live drum sounds. Basically, the disc is awesome on the front and back end, but sags a bit through the middle section. If you're a fan of the group, this is a must have, but if you're wondering where you should start to get into them, check out Tiny Reminders or Stay Down first.