Plucked from the IMPS ’08 album Bring Out The Imps on Mule Electronic, the recent spurt of remix EPs (titled bluntly enough as Remixed Volume 1, 2 and 3) work like a triptych honoring the capricious jazz informed original work and in some cases improving on the ideas explored. Volume 1 offered up snappy techno from Minilogue themselves and an ambient skronk fest from Jan Jelinek . Volume 2, got busy with the always interesting Isolee working a quirky bassline and melodic flourishes on “Unkle Limps” while Strategy looped the horn and a funky keyboard lick from “Get A Grip” turning it into a mid-tempo dubby house freakout. Turning attention to the last (or most timely) in the series, Volume 3, continues to up the ante with remix offerings from Move D and Thomas Fehlmann, a pairing that equates to a monster truck rally of German electronic luminaries. Neither stray too far off the basic genre assignment of the track but manage to steer their remix into territory that outshines the originals.
Move D takes the cleverly titled “Almost Live But Definitely Plugged” and grounds the kick drum on solid deep house soil, a bass that pulses with an italo flair and handclaps that sound like they came in straight off the campfire. A tightly curled standup bassline drives through the remainder of the the track before unfurling all manner of jazzy keyboard flourishes, hovering warm Rhodes tonal chords, and continual vocal intonations of a few key words like “best” and “yeah.” Then about halfway-through percussion overload hits as the cymbals and drum sticks get a subtle but through workout. It all adds up to a rather fine example of how to fuse deep house with jazz elements while avoiding the cliched characteristics of each genre’s inherent traits.
Thomas Fehlmann’s remix of “Heaven and Bagpipes” takes the original’s Byzantine dub meets Spaghetti-western theme and doesn’t do much different to it, but what is done is absolutely magnificent. Opening with glowing pads, birds, other found sound, and then eastern percussion it feels like the only item missing is a monologue from Sir Richard Attenborough to give it that Orb stamp. And there is certainly a thread tying it back to Fehlmann’s rotational footing in the ambient house group but it’s obvious what he’s always brought to the table in that collaboration as it sits firmly on display here: a percussive ebb and flow to the rhythm that pulls you in while challenging you to find the current’s true direction; dubby bass and rhythm guitar emerge spontaneously while Middle Eastern touches of the original get woven into the track’s edges. It ends where you might expect it, with a fade out to the opening’s luminous warmth, a signal to nightfall. A fitting end to this excellent series of remixes.