- Amidst his lush house albums and melodic techno EPs, you might have forgotten about Roman Flügel's twisted past. We caught a glimpse a few months ago on 1995, an EP produced during minimal's formative years, when every track seemed designed to freak out day-long afterhours. Who better to bring out Flügel's strange side than Wolfgang Tillmans, a German photographer whose most abstract work broadens the possibilities of the medium? In remixing "Source," a 16-minute track Tillmans says is about generating "vocal sounds to tell a story while refraining from using actual words," Flügel is at his most psychedelic, combining bleeps, vocal snatches and a medley of weird sounds into a tune that is sometimes sinister, sometimes beautiful, and always mind-bending.
At ten minutes long, you could expect Flügel's remix to be an extended roller. We get something far different. A four-on-the-floor pulse is the only constant, chugging at around 130 BPM while melodies and bleeps entwine above. No combination of sounds stays the same for long. Deranged vocal snippets and synths come and go as quickly as they entered. Some moments—like the harmony between strings and vocals at the halfway point—are stunning, while others—the doom synth—are grim, as Flügel shifts the mood with each pad or tweak in the bassline. Elements constantly move around the stereo spectrum, doubling the psychedelic effect.
You can sense the passion Flügel had for the original track, which sits on the B-side. A remixer's dream, its collage of improvised vocals, chants and melody lines provides plenty to work with. But Flügel's rework is the best way to hear it, twisting a mess of sounds into a coherent, powerful piece.
A Source (Roman Flügel Remix)