Simian Mobile Disco
Simian Mobile Disco is back with another memory stick of remixed down temp and post House tracks. Simian is one of those remix crews that keeps popping up to take the obscure dance music of the 21st century and rewrite it to fit their own aesthetic, possibly improving or maybe even de-improving it in the process. The whole game is a bit like offering your neighbor’s first grader composition tips on his coloring home work, but occasionally you can cause progress this way. The SMD truck is driven by James Ford and Jas Shaw over in the UK, so let’s see what’s up on this collection.
“For Falling Asleep” (Etienne Jaumet) puts a lackadaisical jazz horn behind urgent sequencer chords that recall 1960s Russian science fiction films (yeah, they did the whole shiny space suit genre, complete with Marxist dialectic). DJ Hell makes an appearance with “U Can Dance (SMD Mix)” and explores a similar beat structure, but the horns are wiped out and there’s an oh-so-tired and weltschmerzgefullt DJ complaining about how empty his world has become. Heck, it’s computerized exercise music with over-priced drinks and cheap drugs, what does he expect, a puppy to lick his face? It captures the modern scene perfectly; I give Ford and Shaw high scores on this one. Over on track 9, SMD makes an appearance with an original mix called “Nerve Salad.” It’s exactly the same drum line, but hold the vocals, add some beeps and industrial clunking, and stir for five minutes and fifty three seconds. The really creepy track is “Dreams” by Delia Derbyshire — an upper-class woman slowly narrates a dream about drowning as deep sea sounds permeate her fragmented story. It’s short, inexplicable, and tasty sorbet between dance numbers. Remixes are fun, but with little reference to the original material they feel a bit dislocated, like visiting a friend’s home town and getting a tour of the buildings that are long gone. It’s all just Dreamtime, but in someone else’s head.
Simian Mobile Disco: www.simianmobiledisco.co.uk