Kuniyuki, Remixed Vol.3

[Mule Musiq]

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The third release in the Kuniyuki remix series, helmed by Henrik Schwarz and Tony Lionni, gives us yet another set of interpretations of the Japanese producer’s deep, down-tempo house tracks. Earlier this summer, “Remixed Vol. 2” dropped two great cuts — an airy, all over the place Cobblestone Jazz remix of “The Session” and a heavy, spacey disco remix of “Touch” by A Mountain of One; this time around, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Henrik Schwarz opens ceremonies tentatively, layering a jazzy piano riff and airy synthesizers over crisp, organic drum sounds and syncopated rhythms. He goes on to build the track’s momentum through contrasts between organic and inorganic textures, electronic and acoustic instruments, mechanical and freeform rhythms, pushing it into a jazzy climax (replete with piano, rolling congas and flute solo) before coming down in dreamy self-destruction. The remix works well in its duality, finding a strange halfway place between house and jazz that evokes the calm and otherworldliness of its title and avoids going overboard into “world groove” territory. Hardly one for the club, “Dear African Sky” almost begs to be played at sunrise on an introspective drive home.

Tony Lionni’s afro-jazzy reworking of “Birds” builds on Henrik Schwarz’s remix and leads us through more organic sounds, ultimately failing to make anything interesting of it. The progression between both tracks is the kind of change that Thomas Melchior might point to when making a statement like “electronic music is really a continuation of jazz,” except Lionni fails to develop this idea to its proper potential. Throwing together a pile of acoustic instruments and forgoing any electronic production, the track works itself into a bloated frenzy before fading out to the awkwardly stunted strums of a guitar. The results aren’t particularly terrible nor particularly interesting; rather, “Birds” feels like something your parents might pick up on a world music compilation in a BMG CD catalog.

Although both producers share similar choices in instrumentation, Lionni’s reworking of “Birds” lacks the restraint, pacing and contrasts that make “Dear African Sky” a beautiful track. Whereas Schwarz builds his remix around atmospherics and quiet dynamisms, Lionni opts for tired clich├ęs, turning his track into a dull “world” jam which serves as a reminder of just how stale house music can be when it’s poorly produced. Thankfully, Henrik Schwarz wasn’t quite ready to break the string of great releases he’s been working on since May, and we’re left with a remix that’s just as satisfying — if a little bit quieter — than the rest of his work. (post by Jeremy Cohen)

julian  on September 18, 2008 at 12:57 AM

I disagree.

james kartsaklis  on September 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM

^ i don’t really have an opinion one way or the other, but that is hilarious.

littlewhiteearbuds  on September 19, 2008 at 7:37 AM

Hahaha, it kind of is!

Julian, what’s up, man. Your reply is so intriguing without any payoff.

B  on September 23, 2008 at 2:03 PM

I sometimes feel like 90% of Henrik Schwarz’ was designed to be played at Ikea…Like ‘world lounge music’ with a 4-4 beat underneath it…

Adam  on March 31, 2009 at 7:29 AM

I still say in the right set the Tony Lionni could work……say maybe five songs from the new Culoe de Song?


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds September Charts  on October 3, 2008 at 5:33 AM

[…] Just A Man” [Eklo] (buy) 08. DJ Koze, “Let’s Love” [IRR] (buy) 09. Kuniyuki, “Dear African Sky” (Henrik Schwarz remix) [Mule Musiq] (buy) 10. Model 500, “Starlight” (Echospace Unreleased remix) [echospace […]

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