Remix albums are like chemistry experiments – without the right elements involved the results can lie lifeless. But with the right energy and inspiration, the remix can be an electric, explosive affair. Luckily, for the west coast sonic architects of Sound Tribe Sector 9, they live for this kind of co-creation. In the five years separating the recently released Artifact from their previous studio effort, the group has toured and performed with Tortoise, drum & bass guru LTJ Bukem and beat alchemists like Telefon Tel Aviv and Karsh Kale among others, and they’ve brought the same range of creative energy together for the new remix album Artifact: Perspectives.
The wealth of sounds and rhythms heard on Artifact – placed in the hands of seasoned electronic producers like Bill Laswell and Richard Devine – are shone in an entirely new light. These fresh versions give the drum & bass excursions, seriously krunk IDM suites and extended dub trips a whole new breath of fresh air. The emcees are a strong presence too, adding a crucial lyrical vibe on “Possibilities” and the highlight (oddly enough) of Mr. Lif’s two non-stop verses perfectly matching the track’s spare, reflective piano and bass arrangement.
Perspectives is well-crafted, bi-coastal fusion, with the large NYC contingent (Laswell, Karsh Kale, Ming + FS) managing to turn what was a complex album of psychedelic downbeat compositions into a collection of end to end burners, perfectly capped by Genetic’s hauntingly beautiful take on “Better Day.” It would almost eclipse Artifact itself, if the two albums weren’t so radically different, and is a fitting statement from a band that seems to evolve more quickly by the hour.
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