- On the double EP he released last year, As Iron Sharpens Iron / One Verse Sharpens Another, Ricardo Donoso wove hints of techno and trance into his captivating compositions. Donoso and the Digitalis label's choice of remixers here underlines this newfound engagement with dance music, with John Tejada, Yves De Mey, TM404 and Recondite on board. The only contributor who doesn't produce techno is Paul Jebanasam, the Subtext artist behind last year's sublime, criminally underrated Rites LP.
As it happens, Jebanasam's remix of "Affirmation" is the most transporting. He almost imperceptibly weaves layers of tissue-thin drones into a dense shroud, dotting it with strings before unleashing massive, crunching bass. Yves De Mey, whose remix opens with a series of potent bass thumps, also brings dread atmospheres to "The Sphinx." Half buried in light noise and thundering low-end, glimmering synth melodies burble to the surface. The other producers offer different techno takes: Recondite's remix of "Diagonal Environment" is spacious, the darting synths of the original anchored with massive kicks and framed by vocals. John Tejada's rework of "The Redeemer" into a punchy, colourful club tune is welcome given the generally bleak tone of this EP, but TM404's remix does more harm than good, filtering to death the nervy synthwork that made "Open Drawer, Full of Masks" so compelling in the first place.
A1 The Sphinx (Yves De Mey Remix)
A2 Diagonal Environment (Recondite Remix)
B1 Affirmation (Paul Jebanasam Remix)
B2 The Redeemer (John Tejada Remix)
B3 Open Drawer, Full of Masks (TM404 Remix)