Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PYRAMIDS with NADJA "INTO THE SILENT WAVES (Remixed by Lustmord and Ulver)" (Hydrahead)

Wow. If this LP weren't so crazy limited (a scant 300 copies) i'd call it totally worthless. Normally Hydrahead outdo themselves with the vinyl versions of their albums but this is deplorable. That image is pretty much exactly what this LP looks like- no artwork, no insert-just a fucking sleeve and a record. And it wasn't inexpensive. Horrible!
The Pyramids with Nadja album itself was excellent. A very subdued jaunt across naturalistic landscapes accented with tons of echoed guitars and Faith Colaccia's inimitable piano symphonics. It brought Nadja down into the atmosphere and showed exactly what Pyramids were capable of as a composing unit. This remix LP does the original a disservice which is a shocker, considering the musicians involved.
Lustmord's side is the longer of the two and reduces the track to its barest essentials-the bass line and a minor amount of atmosphere. I find that little is gained by his treatment of the track-i don't feel like i've explored the potential any further nor do i see any new territory unearthed by his remixing. It hardly even bares his stamp. I would much rather have heard a lengthy near dub-style ultra-bass reduction of the track's simplest elements stretched to a plodding, echoing length rather than the pointless rework on display here. It's just longer with less going on. Nothing new, nothing learned.
Ulver's hack job is even worse. Their remix would have fit comfortably on a 7" single and considering the price i paid for this LP that pisses me off a bit. It seems like Ulver took what Lustmord did and encapsulated it a bit, adding a few seconds of delayed orchestral flourish to the minimalist reimagining previously employed. I can't even embellish what's here because it's so totally skeletal in the worst possible way. It's a vapid, empty treatment that reeks of cashing a paycheck.
I'm wary of remixes overall but Hydrahead normally go above and beyond. Their commissioned mutations of Knut and Isis are both exemplary of what the remix concept can achieve. This, however, falls well short of that mark. Avoid at all costs. I can only hope that someday this LP will be worth hundreds of dollars to justify its existence.

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