- Desire Record's choice of producers for the third EP of Ike Yard remixes is telling. Though Bandshell, Powell and Vessel are all (very loosely speaking) techno producers, theirs are tracks with off-kilter rhythms and synths that wail maniacally rather than describing hooks. It's hard to say how much Ike Yard actually influenced their music (except perhaps in the case of Powell), but given the New York trio's enduring cult status, you suspect these remixers were all rather pleased to be asked.
All of which is to say that the spirit, if not the sound, of Ike Yard is well and truly alive, and these remixes highlight the parallels between then and now. There are just a handful of elements at work on Powell's remix of "Half A God": sawing synth, dry kicks and toms, and a treacly bassline. Yet even with Powell's restraint, his techno-ish rework sounds rickety compared to the dour original, with bursts of high-frequency noise and volatile rhythms that stick out at every angle. The Bandshell version of "NCR" is similarly charred and misshapen, with hissing spurts the only backdrop to the sound of drums being cut up and reassembled according to his own opaque logic.
Vessel's remix of "Cherish 8" foregrounds the vocals too, initially rendering them as thin and abrasive as steel wool. Patterns of lonely kicks echo across vast reaches of space and, together with feedback squalls, form a spare but formidable onslaught. The only let-down is the KVB's remix; it seems a little uninspired to ask a throwback act to remix a record from the '80s, and in the shadow of more interesting reinterpretations, the KVB's melodic version of "Cherish 8" feels like an afterthought.
A1 Half a God - Powell Remix
A2 Cherish 8 - The KVB Remix
B1 Cherish 8 - Vessel Remix
B2 NCR - Bandshell Remix