Morgan Richards on 20/8/12
Hamburg-based ambassadors of minimal, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, are back with a new EP featuring remixes of their tunes "Ordinary" and "Lapacha." The record marks the 20th release on the duo's label Musik Gewinnt Freunde, and features a lineup of label regulars.
Side one, featuring four remixes of "Lapacha", starts off with a delectable offering from Alex Q. A light, bouncy bassline gives the track a Get Physical feel, but the wordless, echoing vocals give away its origin as classic KT. The next track is a nice live mix of "Lapacha" by the duo themselves.
Up-and-comer Lake People is up next with a "Slow-Lap" version that sits around 110 bpm. Maybe it's the name, but every time I hear this track it makes me think of running laps of the oval on a frosty winter's morning. It's a beautiful slow-plodder of a track; too slow for the dancefloor perhaps.
The last of the "Lapacha" remixes is a joint effort from youANDme and the excellently-named Cosmic Cowboys. Unfortunately, it's a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, as excessive percussion cramps the minimal, spacious mood that makes the original a great track.
Side two is the "Ordinary" side, but the first track, Lake People's "Circle Motive Remix", is anything but ordinary. It adds light garnishes of woodblocks and twinkling bells before a shimmery synthline emerges just after the half-way point. The whole piece is driven along by a gentle yet deep bassline, evoking the warmth and richness of a Max Cooper track. It's a thoroughly enjoyable listen and is definitely the pick of the bunch on this EP.
The other "Ordinary" remixes don't quite reach the high watermark of Lake People's effort. Ken Hayakawa's ethereal synths lead his "Mondschein Mix" to a reverb-soaked climax, but the track's overly restrained, loungey-sounding bass prevent it from really taking off.
AlexQ's version begins promisingly but gets sidetracked by a meandering bridge section, featuring a strummed Spanish guitar riff looped ad infinitum against a backdrop of ethereal pads that sound like they've escaped from an Enya track. Not that I have anything against the Celtic diva; I think she's great. But the New Age synths sound a little out of place here, and overall the bridge section is little more than a confusing detour.
Cosmic Cowboys round the EP off with their take, characterised by staccato beats and occasional spasms of cymbals which lend a detached, almost jazzy feel. It's well produced, but the percussion feels a little over the top here as well.
Overall, the remixes don't come close to the quality of KT's own superb productions. It'd be tempting to take the record's title at face value, were it not for Lake People's excellent remixes. If anything, this EP proves that the Leipzig producer will be one to watch in the future.
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