Ellen Allien, Out Remixes

[BPitch Control]

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Ellen Allien’s Sool album was cold and precise, and “Out” stands as a fine example of its poker-faced mood: In its original form, “Out” is resolutely unyielding, the vocals sent shuddering and twisting through reverb, edited into stammering machines. It shares with the music of its producer AGF a distanced delivery, at least on the surface. (AGF’s music often ends up crackling with emotion, but Allien doesn’t surrender to that impulse here.) In another publication, I noted that Allien’s return to such minimal climes has her working against the tide, and indeed “Out” may well be more comfortable nestled among the inquisitive, near-academic glitch that characterized the early ‘00s output on Mille Plateaux. But that’s also where its great strength lies, in its embrace of essence with each component bare and clinical, from the dull thud of the kick, to the ringing, high-pitched tones that briefly flicker toward the end.

New BPitch recruit Thomas Muller takes on one of the remixes: it’s sympathetic to the emptiness characterizing the original, but it’s more propulsive and features some swooping, dramatic synth that’s a little too gestural for its own good. Much better are the stretches where he lets his remix slowly unfold, dotting these periods with glassy pings and brief bursts of escaping gas. Audion aka Matthew Dear tackles “Out” on the other side of the 12″. Now that Dear’s solo records have lost their touch, you’ve pretty much got to lean on Audion for good music from the guy, and here he’s on strong form. It’s easy to forget how good Dear can be at teasing the ears, and on his “Out For Infants” mix, he patiently establishes a low-level rhythm from hollow, woody knocks and thuds and freeze-dried handclaps, before bringing a queasy, mutant loop into earshot at the four-minute mark. From there it’s all on, as Dear wrings the loop dry, stretching it across the rhythm, twisting and shaking it out, before drenching it in ever-ascending, queered electronic noise. Like the best Audion, it’s strangely erotic, even (or perhaps especially) as the noise tries to violate the structure of the rhythm.

teleost  on December 2, 2008 at 2:41 AM

“Now that Dear’s solo records have lost their touch, you’ve pretty much got to lean on Audion for good music from the guy”

I couldn’t disagree more. Both Asa Breed and 2007 were fantastic – if anything it’s his Audion work that’s been lacking since I Gave You Away.

Martin Roberts  on December 2, 2008 at 4:47 AM

Absolutely agree – great release. Although for me this is one of the rare examples of the original still being superior to the remixes.

fred  on December 3, 2008 at 6:57 PM

I agree with Teleost. False’s 2007 is fantastic, and everyone has pretty much acknowledged that “Fed On Youth” is already a classic (and I’m not even much of a M_NUS guy). And Asa Breed was one of the top records of 2007.

jake elliott  on December 8, 2008 at 10:10 AM

the audion remix is such a killer! he’s really on to something right now i think between this and his remix of liquid liquid’s ‘optimo’; really opening these tracks up narratively if that’s not too pretentious a description :)

didn’t know agf had a hand in that record but it makes a lot of sense now :) i really enjoyed the modyfier txt about her process a few months ago http://modyfier-modifying.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-post_28.html

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