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Timeblind - Most Eye, Rastabomba Remixes

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Artist: Timeblind

Album: Most Eye, Rastabomba Remixes

Label: Orthlorng Musork

Review date: Feb. 23, 2003

Exploration into Variation and Mutation

Timeblind's last full-length included the track "Most Eye," so as is common practice these days, a number of artists were invited to contribute to this remix EP, which also includes two additional new mixes by Timeblind.

The CD leads off with the original album mix, led by an insistent beat, all snappy snare and beat-beat kick drum. A slightly filtered-sounding organ sound pulses in and out, while Timeblind's spoken word vocal states the case for solar power and natural laws: "one breath is millions of years to the most eye." It's a fine piece of rhythmic construction, but at over six minutes you'd better be interested in the lyrical content, because the music doesn't change much.

Kid606 takes the first crack at remixing, and makes the piece much more active, almost a big-beat party stomp. His "Ladies Mix" has still got the dancehall feel thanks to the insistent organ-like pulse, but he emphasizes the kick beat more, letting it hit harder, and pulls the snare back during breaks to let things breathe. Of course, he can't resist pulling some tracks towards the end, with digital rips and shreds pulling the song apart from time to time.

Kit Clayton, not surprisingly, takes a more delicate hand to things, letting the rhythm ebb and flow more naturally, though he does fuzz out the kick drum a bit. The flow of "Figga dem" is smooth and slow, while the vocals fade to the background and manipulated to the point where at times it's a voice without being able to make out the words. Towards the end, the song slowly unwinds until it's nothing but the voice crawling to the finish.

Timeblind is up next with another mix of his own, "Pwana Frenzy," the most distressed of the remixes yet, filled with twizzling static and noises of destruction. It's not necessarily surprising that one of the most dramatically-changed remixes here is Timeblind's – with a piece that relies on the vocals, it might seem more intrusive for another artist to remove them entirely, and restructure the rhythms in a radically different way. It being his own piece to begin with, Timeblind feels free to rip the hell out of it and reassemble something new from the parts.

dj/Rupture's version, "Goin’ to Meet the Man," snaps between different rhythms at the beginning, throwing distorted breakbeats into the mix to spice things up. He then shows that he's not afraid to go the instrumental route, either, and dispose entirely of the vocals. In fact, he almost disposes of the original rhythmic elements as well. Without knowing so ahead of time, it's doubtful that anyone listening to this would realize that it's a remix of the original track.

Timeblind's two "bonus" mixes finish up the proceedings here. The first pulls in brief snippets of the lyrics, while the rhythm pulses atop a synth-bloop, elements of the original drums coming and going. This is perhaps the most interesting remix on here, actually, in terms of its dynamics while remaining somewhat faithful to the original. The second gets weird and rubbery, with strange horns, rumbly bottom-end synth, and clattery high hat rattles. It remains vaguely similar to the original rhythmically, but that's about as far as you can go.

What can you say? The interesting thing about this, perhaps, is that the original version of the song, while allowing the vocals to have their say, is musically the least dynamic of the versions here. I suppose it's the old trade-off of lyrics versus music, but I'm not sure that really holds up – there's no reason the music has to be so static if the lyrics are strong enough to compete. And if they're not, then what does that say about them? On the other hand, some of the mixes here get twisted enough that they really would make it difficult to wend vocals through the music. In any case, it's often interesting to hear different interpretations of a piece, which I suppose is why remix releases have become so popular. This one is a fair addition to the crop.

By Mason Jones

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