Music Reviews

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Artist: 2Kilos &More (@)
Title: 10
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Audiophob (@)
Rated: *****
I previously reviewed 2Kilos &More's 'Kurz Vor5' and enjoyed it, so I was interested to see how these songs would hold up in a live setting. This set was released in celebration of their 10th anniversary, so you would expect that the tracks chosen would showcase the best of what they have. Thankfully, this seems to be the case. I was unfamiliar with their other discs, so some of this was new to me. Let's start with the live disc. This is what I really like about live music. The songs that have become familiar are suddenly seen in a new light as they are reinterpreted by the band. Sometimes this is due to the limitations of the medium (it is hard to bring an orchestra into a small club) and other times it's simply because the artists take license to play with their music. 'Wolf' opens it all up with a moaning, whining vocal number that is vaguely unsettling. The weirdness doesn't get any less as 'On the Juiciest Walk' lays down a throbbing number with high pitched singing and synth pads over a relentless beat. 'Ark' is weird spoken word with music that seems even more ominous when you begin to listen to the lyrics ' stuff like 'kids disappearing everywhere....' 'A Pool' opens with shrill electronics that make way for spoken word that begins: 'I am in the 13th Century and I am sleeping with my young and beautiful love in this Roman cathedral' and tells the story of diving into a pool of water created by a rainstorm that came through the hole in this cathedral. The story ends and leaves you wondering what happened in the end. But where it really got interesting for me was on 'I Decided to Lie,' which is an extended narrative of a hotel-room encounter that has a much more raw feel to it with grinding guitars and distortion and all of the intensity or the original while expanding the original significantly. If you need a primer on how to create intensity in live performance, this is the track to turn to. Finally, we get to 'Remix for Rapoon'; I am a pretty big fan of Rapoon, so I was interested to hear 2 Kilos &More's take on his work. This is a good example of what a remix should be ' maintaining the spirit of the original material but seeing it through a new pair of eyes. Slow moving drones and plodding percussion give it a peaceful feel (until at about 5 minutes in, it is briefly interrupted by short electronic blasts of glitchy noise before returning to the drones (make sure these are in the original)). Nicely done.

Next up, we have the remix disc. Remixes are often more a matter of the skill of the remixer than the original source material, so seeig such luminaries as Rapoon, Imminent, Roger Rotor, and Needle Sharing bodes well. Let's hit the high notes. Muckrackers kicks us off with remix of 'Tiens, Regarde!' that is dark, ominous, and slow moving ' nicely done. Next up, Bérangère Maximin takes on 'And That's About All So Far' with 12 minutes of clanging, clicking, noisy atmosphere. This is a high pitched stress test for your ears, but it still remains engaging because of the incidental sounds that punctuate the wall of noise. Four minutes in, we have a clicking beat that finally triumphs over the noise mixed with what sounds like bird chirps. Interesting, but it goes on a bit longer than it needs to and would have been more solid with a bit of editing. If this is the most I have to complain about on a remix disc, this album is pretty far ahead of the competition. The remix of 'On the Juiciest Walk' by Picore is a rollicking number with a hard-driving pounding drum beat and a melody that seems ready to fall apart at any moment. It finally slows down for a bit at 3 minutes in before taking off again. Throw this into your next workout mix for extra calorie burn. With 'I Decided to Lie,' if the original and the live versions were too intense for you, this version by The Berg Sans Nipple is for you. Bass drum and toms mixed with a simple synth line mixed with the spoken word narrative. Where the live version delivers the shock of an event that just happened, this remix conveys the weary retelling of the story for the 10th time to a new listener. With Rapoon, one good remix deserves another as Storey takes on 'CSP' with ethereal drones that wash over brief snippets of sped-up voices, sparse percussion, and incidental sounds like didgeridoo and random clanks. The 'Only Hazard' remix by Imminent is a bit less drum and noise than what I would expect from this artist. The simple beats and synth over chunks of sampled vocals are present and accounted for, but compared to Imminent's own work this starts off downright mellow. Eventually it opens up and kicks into the drum and noise that we all love from Imminent. 'Les Rapports' S' by Roger Rotor keeps the drum and noise alive with a minimal, repetitive reinterpretation. The 'Ark' remix by Needle Sharing is a frantic swirl of beats and analogue synth sounds. The vocals that make the live version so disturbing are used mainly for atmosphere here as they are deconstructed beyond recognition. The Von Magnet remix of 'After May June, And Before Berlin' is a thing of beauty; peaceful and serene. In all, these are interesting tracks that could, for the most part, stand on their own without having heard the originals.

This is one worth picking up for both the live renditions and the remixes. The live disc weighs in at around 68 minutes and the remix disc weighs in at around 71 minutes.

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