- Alpha 606 is Armando Martinez, a Miami-born artist who puts a Cuban spin on electro—the name, he says, is "a hybrid of Alpha 66, the anti-Castro freedom-fighting group, and the Roland TR-606." His novel take on this classic sound makes him a natural fit for Detroit label Interdimensional Transmissions, who brought him into their family of artists with his 2008 EP, Electrónica Afro-Cubano. Now he returns with RMXD, a record that combines a snappy new original with inspired reworks from Erika and BMG, the main artists behind Interdimensional Transmissions, as well as Anthony "Shake" Shakir.
"808 Trax" is a crafty beat tool as simple as its name suggests. At four minutes, it feels like an off-the-cuff hardware jam, with super-crisp drum sounds forming new patterns on the fly. Shakir adds some noisy drums and teases out the dreamy chords hovering low in the mix—if the original is lean and punchy, his remix is big and raucous.
On the B-side, IT's core duo remix previously unreleased tracks. Demented as it is, BMG's rework of "Armambo" is the most Caribbean-sounding thing here, with dissonant marimbas and syncopated sub-bass playing off staccato peels of hand percussion. Erika's version of "We Leave Tonight" is a glistening electro cut, one whose earworm bassline and fluid rhythm make for the most addictive track on this record. It's maybe the best thing she's done yet.
A1 808 Trax (Anthony "Shake" Shakir RMX)
A2 808 Trax
B1 Armambo (BMG RMX)
B2 We Leave Tonight (Erika RMX)