24 February 2011

Shackleton - Deadman (King Midas Sound / The Bug Remixes)

Shackleton - Deadman (King Midas Sound / The Bug Remixes) - Honest Jons
This little beauty opened Shackleton's fabric mix, and following the rave reviews that picked up, a remix package was pretty much inevitable - our love for Kevin Martin's various aliases and Shackleton is pretty evident, and considering the beautiful artwork and packaging that Honest Jons affords it, I had to pick this up on sight. The original, with it's repeated "everyone starts from point one" refrain, instantly-recognisable Darbuka percussion and moody textures is classic Shackleton - spacey, futuristic and disconcerting, and at a slightly less hectic 133bpm, more techno-compatible than other Shackleton. Coupled with the dark artwork, it's a great head-trip.
With Hitomi taking on the Skeng riddim on the recent Infected EP, Kevin Martin's various aliases seem to finally be convering and tying together the best of his art. His two remixes, one As King Midas Sound, the other as The Bug, both channel the same apocalyptic, dread-fuelled feel, along with the soundsystem-approach to fullness that's become his trademark, though the lines between have not yet totally dissolved. Notably both version render the original almost unrecognisable, were it not for the vocal loop bookending both tracks as intro and outro.
The Bug's Crackle Dub channels the same granite-heavy production style as London Zoo, with epic snares and molasses-black subs struggling for superiority, whilst Hitomi's ethereal vocals are reduced to an almost imperceptible ghostly shimmer, buried in crackling static in the high end.
As King Midas Sound, Martin channels a much softer dark-ambient feel, with slowly pulsing kickdrums and layers of imperceptible noises, but the presence of Hitomi, this time much more prevelant in the mix, instantly ties the two tracks together. With it's more gentle washes of sound, and hints of melody breaking through, the Dub feels much more appealing than the Bug's version, and, intentionally or not, is perfectly styled for the current wave of dark-ambient / beatless techno / industrial that seems to have taken over from anonymous techno collectives as this years in-thing.

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