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- Remixes by Wooden Shjips
8/10 Mike Staff review, 29 February 2012
Ahoy there Wooden Shjipsaholics, we just got in these super limited indies-only remix 12”s in from the lovely folks at Thrill Jockey. They're in cryptic LP-style sleeves with nice pictures and almost no information whatsoever. And despite only having three mixes on the whole disc they're all really long so you actually get a fair amount of listening time here. First up to the plate is Andrew Weatherall, who seems to be the remixer du jour at the moment for some reason. The veteran producer's take on 'Crossing' is an icy bass-led techno-house thumper with a bit of a cosmic disco feel. Recontextualised with the electronic beats and bright bass guitar tones the vocals almost take on a Devo-esque quality. Bumping. Up next is Sonic Boom, with a piece entitled 'Wiking Stew (aka Red Krayola-ing)' which isn't such a remix as an entirely new piece of music built from raw Shjips. It's heavily layered and chaotic with loads of backwards drum sounds and bubbling, grinding layers of increasingly intense noise. If I was more cynical I'd say it was a cheap move that's resulted in a long and unlistenable piece of music. You could really empty some dancefloors with this one. It's the track on the flip that I'm finding the most interesting here, though. It's a collaborative attempt between the band's Ripley Johnson and The Heads's Simon Price (under his Kandodo moniker). Ripley created the “bed” of the track and then sent it to Price to mess around with, and what's left is an extended glacial psychedelic exploration that's like trying to watch Sun Araw while White Hills are playing in the next room. There's a repeated synth refrain and post-dubby drums holding down the structure while all sorts of stuff goes on over the top, including some dirty great distorted dirgey guitars and bass playing slow, buzzing, overdriven chunks of burnt-out tone. It's got the pacing of Sylvester Anfang II but with ballsier guitar sounds, and it goes on for aaaaages. Value.
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