Desert Phase Remixes
There’s this weird moment in the desert every evening just as the sun blinks out — the sky becomes cold, intensely interstellar cold, and the ground just sort of exhales its heat. Your sweat solidifies on you, and you wish you hadn’t dropped your jacket ten miles ago — it’s way too far to crawl back, and where did that oasis go anyways? Sometimes you can replicate that feeling in sound, perhaps on this Seb Taylor/Natasha Chamberlain project. They took desert-inspired soundscapes that you might hear hanging with Omar Sharif and Ayatollah Khomeini at Muammar Gaddafi’s pool cabana and turns them loose on a set of remixers from all over the world. Sometimes sounding like a souk scene in an Iranian movie, sometimes like a dance club with a muezzin, that feel of energy passing though you and into the cosmic background is just liminal. Opener “Ummah Oum” builds, subtly jumping octaves and letting back beats sneak up on each other until a more creaky tone opens a door into the modern fat, droopy, drippy electronic space on “Desert Phase.” “23 Towers” repeats with remixes by Eat Static and Biotone and Interpulse. I think I like the Biotone version best; it seems happy while Interpulse evokes a sad violinist. But the Eat Static obligates us to buy a rug and ship it home. You can get lost in here, there’s more music here than will fit on a CD, and it’s exciting in the same way travel to a foreign land can be — the smells and sounds differ, but the chromatic scale and vaguely familiar time signatures keep you grounded and unlikely to wander into the bad part of town.