Testube - Forthwater Remixes
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
The first song on “Forthwater Remixes” to get that titular remix treatment is ‘Memory Dump’. I quite enjoyed the original version due to its minimal aesthetic, but what’s a remixes purpose if not to completely change around the original song? R010R had this completely in mind and took the fairly analogue track and transformed it into an EBM, beat riddled track. Still maintaining that techno-atmosphere that I quote it having in the original review, R010R makes this more a less a dancefloor filler for your local rivethead den (if you’ve even one of those in your location). Low guttural vocals that I don’t remember being in the original are also added in on this remix, and that’s a welcome addition.
The very experimental ‘Cost is Clear’ gets touched by Y-Luk-O. The artist keeps the experimental nature in check, but dials it down some, and replaced the oddities with a thumpier bassline that accents the IDM ambiance throughout the track. It’s a neat little touch that I enjoyed, and when the vocals came they felt much more pronounced than in the original track.
The title track from the original album gets operated on by Unterm Rad. The original had some electro basslines and elements of experimental music found within; again, the beauty within minimalism. I wasn’t a fan of Unterm Rad’s interpretation of the track, however. What I hear is hard to explain; it sound alien but not in a good way. It sounds like Unterm Rad wants to make a full song but can’t get past the first ten seconds or so of intro beats, gets caught in a loop, and then repeats it for four-minutes and forty-three seconds. To say the very least, it doesn’t sound complete.
The original version of ‘Forscorn’ is a track with industrial waves filling my ears. What ‘PLOKTA’ does with it isn’t heresy, but it so confounding that I was surprised this stemmed from the canon version at all. What I’m given is a delightfully gleeful IDM track with bouts of industrial pulses. It sounds like the soundtrack to a bunch of tiny, little robots playing around with analog synthesizers having a blast. In fact, I kind of want to see a music video of that occur now.
The computer blip nostalgia of ‘Rtolls’ gets wrecked by REKT. But in a good way. Still staying close to the original while incorporating deeper bass and further exeperimental IDM elements. It’s minimal but fun, atmospheric yet pulsing, like the inner brain of an Ais mechanical workings. The next remix comes by way of Feederwire who takes on the title track. Deep electro basslines, a slowed pace, analog experiments, and whirring synthesizers make for a wonderful new take on the track.
The final couple of remixes come by way of Testube himself, playing around with his own tracks. The first is a Dub remix of ‘Cost is Clear’. But, for some reason, I could never really get into dub music. So this was an automatic pass for me; I don’t necessarily count it against the score of the review album as dub music just isn’t my thing, but I don’t count it for, either. His edit of ‘Memory Dump’ is just a bouncier, industrial version of the original. I feel as if it was made by a robot wanting to create a dance track for his friends and was successful; I, too, also, as well dance to your song, you little robot. The final in-house mix is a demo redux of ‘Backwater’. In my opinion, it doesn’t hold a flame to the original, and doesn’t do much else aside from make me want to listen to the original version again.
So, as with all remix albums, this is a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed most of the remixes – six out of nine in total – which is pretty good if you ask me. And most of the tracks are enjoyable in their own right, dissecting the base song and completely rewiring it into something new. So, kudos to both Testube and the remixers for rallying for this release. It’s dope, grand, and another worthy addition to Testube beautiful and odd discography. Seven out of ten.Oct 30 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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