- Prins Thomas's interstellar cloud of an album, Principe Del Norte, was a midwinter treat earlier this year. A warm, tingly head trip, it encapsulated the man's love for cosmic music and progressive rock of a certain ilk (think '70s-era Virgin records: Faust IV, Rainbow Dome Musick, New Age Of Earth). It ran nearly 100 minutes and went as deep into space as it did into the furthest reaches of the mind.
As Prins Thomas is wont to do with his own long remixes, Principe Del Norte Remixed takes the music even further out, stretching more than two hours across two discs. For this intergalactic trip, a fine roster of fellow heads have been assembled: The Orb, Ricardo Villalobos, I:Cube, Hieroglyphic Being and more. The Orb continue their recent renaissance with "H (The Orb Orbient Mix)," its small hiccups, glitches and Pop Ambient-style skips slowly gaining mass until it reaches a gaseous, sublime state. They take another pass at "H" on the second disc. Their "Heaven Or Hell Remix" is full of bass swells, handclaps and a kick that gathers velocity over 13 minutes, suggesting a return to their ambient house glory days.
It's a rare remix album that can match its predecessor. The overlong Sun Araw and Dungen remixes are the most sluggish of the bunch. It's not until a half-hour into the collection when I:Cube finally kicks things up a notch. The Frenchman builds his smooth deep house tones around a fat, fuzzy sine wave, before dropping a drum circle's worth of hand percussion on top. Elsewhere, Young Marco teases Phuture-style acid across his ten-minute trek through "C."
The central remixes come from Villalobos, who revisits the sound of his early '00s minimal peak on two versions of "C." Across 13 minutes, small pocks of steel drum rise amid ever-shifting low-end and skittering percussion on the "King Crab Remix." On the "Knödel Prince Dub," Villalobos further reduces the elements until they float and spin like sand swirling at the bottom of the ocean.
But most striking are the remixes from Jamal Moss. Rather than the tough and abrasive acid tracks he's gained renown for as Hieroglyphic Being, his first go at "D" is disarming, resulting in one of his loveliest and most patient remixes. It's as if Moss is drawing deep breaths before introducing each element: elegant piano lines in gently accruing layers, crashing ocean waves in the distance, a bubbling mbira figure in the foreground. The second Hieroglyphic Being remix features his familiar unrelenting drums. After spending hours in outer space, that closing track suggests the turbulence of re-entry back to Earth.
01. H (The Orb Orbient Mix)
02. B (Sun Araw Saddle Soap Remix)
03. D (Dungen Version)
04. J (Original Version)
05. C (I:Cube Remix)
06. D (Hieroglyphic Being Remix)
07. C (Young Marco Remix)
01. I (Original Version)
02. A1 (Gerd Janson Prinspersonation Mix)
03. C (Ricardo Villalobos King Crab Remix)
04. C (Ricardo Villalobos Knödel Prince Dub)
05. H (The Orb Heaven Or Hell Remix)
06. K (Original Version)
07. C (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
08. D (Hieroglyphic Being Beat Rework)