- Twelve years is a long time in anyone's life, but it's an aeon in the cycle of techno. It's also the length of time since Karl O'Connor (Regis) and Peter Sutton (Female) first released the untitled track that has become the subject of this double remix package. Oddly though, the original version doesn't sound like it has aged too much. Underpinned by lithe breakbeats, the track's dubby textures create an atmospheric sense of melancholy that's reminiscent of Rhythm & Sound. As it progresses, the track flirts with straighter, more techno-friendly kicks, which makes this listener question whether O'Connor and Sutton were way ahead of the pack, or if the releases that inhabit the techno meets dubstep grey zone of recent years have been following in the footsteps of more visionary producers.
The remixes on this first record are more in keeping with the vibe on the original version than subsequent versions offer. Female's own take is cloaked in deep chords and even when the dense off beats kick in, it still sounds laidback. Kalon provides the other remix, keeping both the rhythms and drums more stripped. Impressive though the remixes are, the original 98 version still sounds the freshest.
On the second instalment of remixes, we get a demo version of the original untitled track. It may not have made the final cut, but this alternate take is just as worthy, with gloriously reflective dubby chords unfolding over a muted kick. Perhaps it's not as forward-looking as the final version and may have fitted more with the prevailing late '90s winds, but Sutton and O'Connor's decision to forgo it in favour of a less immediate take shows again just how bloody-minded they are.
Elsewhere, the CH Signal take is a sparse bleeping workout, deadly effective in its construction and execution, with broken beats morphing into straight kicks, which are then augmented by a resonating acid bass. Silent Servant's version is as just as utilitarian—deploying a stabbing bass note and featuring dense, almost claustrophobic beats accompanied by hissing percussion lapping up against them. The remix highlight however goes to Function. Although Sumner has been busy doing reworks of Luke Slater and Traversable Wormhole, he shows no sign yet of remix fatigue, and this interpretation is arguably his finest to date: the typical Function reverberating claps are present, but there are also skeletal percussive clicks, subtle filtering and, most importantly, a pulsating groove that makes this big room techno of the best kind.
A1 Untitled (Female Mix)
B1 Untitled (Kalon 08 (Sandwell Mix))
A1 Untitled (CH Signal Mix)
A2 Untitled (98 Original Demo)
B1 Untitled (Function Mix)
B2 Untitled (Silent Servant Mix)