- When Mike Huckaby gets behind the boards, a lot of what you think you know about remixing goes right out the window. On this single for Barbara Preisinger's Slices Of Life label, Huckaby tackles two decade-old tracks by Vladislav Delay (in his Sistol guise) and Pole, but you probably never would have guessed the source material if you simply heard the tracks blind.
Sistol's "Keno," released in 1999, was a lumpy, bare-bones affair for muffled kicks and scratchy, incidental rhythms, akin to some of Thomas Brinkmann's more minimal work of the era. It's engrossing, in the manner of a distracted stroll down a gravel path, but it's hardly the kind of thing that shakes you by the lapels. Huckaby's mix is exactly the opposite: visceral and immediate, with penetrating sub bass and rich, enveloping chords. It's part dub techno and part deep house, but the elements come together in such a way that it couldn't be confused for anything else. It's one of those rare examples of a perfect, all-encompassing groove.
"Silberfisch," which opened Pole's album 3, was (like so much of his work) archetypal late '90s Pole—buoyant, grainy, diffuse but also full-bodied. Beyond the generally gritty sensibility, I can't hear a single shred of the original in Huckaby's remix, but that's neither here nor there; single-mindedly pursuing a glowing, snub-nosed bass line through crisp hi-hats and handclaps, its immersion in a world of its own making is plenty compelling. It's tougher and drier than the Sistol remix; chillier, maybe even a little forbidding. The Sistol mix enfolds you; the Pole mix pumps along like an automaton, indifferent to your presence.
A Sistol - Keno (The Mike Huckaby SYNTH Remix: Extended Version)
B Pole - Silberfisch (The Mike Huckaby SYNTH Remix)