- Chymera's Death by Misadventures, released earlier this year, was lush, dramatic, ambitious and sometimes overstuffed, with a distinctly Innervisions-influenced approach that crossed Detroit techno with acoustic instruments and soaring vocals. "Trapped in Amber" epitomized the album's sensual excess, with churning, Carl Craig-inspired arpeggios and billowing vocal harmonies reminiscent of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, a world-music album popularized by its reissue on 4AD (and, later, Nonesuch) in the '80s. King Britt's remix does a good job of stripping it down and thinning it out. The vocals ride prominently in the mix, but the drum track has more bite and more spring; the bass is reduced to a low, ominous rumble and the arps add silvery highlights, while shakers and crisp claps keep it all rolling effortlessly forward. There's still a whole lot of emoting going on, which may turn off some, but it's skillfully handled.
Chymera's own "Threads" wisely dials back the intensity a notch; it's moody and softly stepping, with glancing chords, ringing, metallic percussion and downy pads that radiate color. The outlier on the EP—and, for my money, the strongest track—is a remix from L.I.E.S. affiliate Steve Moore of the album closer "Swim Away." The original was a mostly beatless ambient track (with the exception of a brief explosion of rock drumming) in the vein of Dead Can Dance; Moore threads it with silvery acid counterpoints, lays down an understated 4/4 kick and blows out the vocal harmonies through canyon-sized reverbs. It couldn't be simpler or more effective.
01. Trapped In Amber (King Britt Remix)
02. Swim Away (Steve Moore Remix)