Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Ulrich Schnauss: Missing Deadlines (Selected Remixes)

This record begs the question - at what point is something so altered from its original form as to be unrecognisable? Now, you might think this is a question best posed to the likes of the late Michael Jackson or the hideously reformed Sophia Loren, but in this case it is master craftsman Ulrich Schnauss falling under the auspices of the surgeon’s knife.

The ambient German producer is a well-known aficionado of shoegazing, pulsing works and here he applies his touch for warped remixes of contemporary tunes. As chief alchemist he rearranges and restructures pieces way beyond recognition to glorious effect.

Schnauss said of the work: “Essentially what makes me really happy about this album is the fact that it’s a selection of the – in my opinion – best mixes from a musical point of view, rather than a compilation of the commercially most successful ones, or the tracks that have the biggest names associated with them.”

Thus, we get Howling Bell’s Setting Sun becoming an edgeless, lilting wonder more akin to My Bloody Valentine’s abstract waves than the Australian’s usual bruising torrents. Dreamy New York band Asobi Seksu also get the treatment, with Yuki Chikudate’s ebbing vocal over a beautiful wash of sound on their iconic track, Strawberries. Mahogany, The Dragons and I’m Not a Gun all provide particular highs here while the denoument provided by the 10-minute reworking of Mojave 3’s Bluebird of Happiness, complete with ‘found sounds’ and carefully constructed piano-vocal combinations, provides an excellent representation of the album. Meticulous, faraway yet completely, disturbingly full of focus.

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