Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: Rx & Shiftee, 'Space Ace Remixes'

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

***1/2
click to enlarge 1329437718-artworks-000016893996-2yqexv-original.jpg

Rx & Shiftee
Space Ace Remixes
Rad Summer

Normally a remix EP would not be a high priority for review - especially considering that I reviewed the original release only a few months ago. However, the latest Rad Summer offering, a handful of remixes from RX & Shiftee's Space Ace, is so exceptional it merits the extra attention.

A lumbering dubstep remix of "Space Ace" by producer Wonder opens the EP on a false note. Wonder's harsh, heavy-handed treatment offers no insight on the original version, which delicately balanced downtempo '80s synth sounds with the more aggressive tendencies of modern bass music.

Up next is my justification for revisiting this EP - a beautiful, jazzy and just plain sublime remix of Rx's "Orbit" by the Brooklyn-based producer Archie Pelago. Pelago's reinvention achieves a haunting, meditative quality, by layering graceful melodic concepts over the restrained garage-style beat of the original. Minimalist horn lines fade into a legato passage for strings as this quiet masterpiece of contemporary electronic music leaves its mark on your ears.

Zeppy Zep offers an equally fresh take on "Orbit," supplying the track with a heavier, dance-floor-friendly house beat and muted vocal chants - a fitting companion to Pelago's more ambient vision.

I had high praise for the original version of "Landing Boots," complementing producer Shiftee's impressive musical palette which simultaneously evoked the work of James Blake, Erik Satie and Art of Noise. Unfortunately Lamin Fofana's uptempo remix adds nothing except a dull dance-floor beat.

Rad Summer continues to impress with each new release. In my earlier review I speculated the the label might soon become a big contender in the electronic music scene. It sounds like they already are.

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