Morphosis, Too Far (Dettmann’s Definitions)

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For many of us, Morphosis’ full-length debut was a particularly vital record last year. Recorded live over the course of just two days, What Have We Learned‘s jumbled, murky compositions felt refreshing when compared to some of its more fastidious peers. It follows that a remix package would be similarly exciting, especially when the reins are handed to someone like Marcel Dettmann. Who doesn’t like hearing their favorite tracks twisted into something new, just as brilliant, and yet still recognizable? In achieving this, “Too Far” would seem like a strange choice. Contrasted with cuts like “Kawn” or “Wild In Captivity,” it’s pretty light on melodic elements. It has those distinctive vocals, but a good remixer needs more than just that to form a credible connection with the original version. Both of Dettmann’s efforts would seem symptomatic of this problem, though that doesn’t matter as much as you might think.

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“Definition 1” feels largely cosmetic, swapping out Morphosis’ hissing hats for quieter, rustling versions and his emphatic snares for punchy stick hits. The structure even stays much the same, Dettmann only allowing the original’s Middle Eastern-sounding grind to slip out wholesale in the final quarter. And as for “Definition 2,” were it not for the aforementioned vocals, it might simply be another of the German’s originals. That’s not such a bad thing, but a more audible connection with “Too Far” would have been nice. Instead, it feels like a typical slice of lumbering Berghain techno with an acapella slapped on top. Its melodic duties are taken care of by airy, one-handed synth work, which would appear to be the sole creation of Dettmann. In the end, however, tenuous links with the “Too Far” aren’t the real problem. With their flat-footed simplicity, neither “Definition” lives up the original material, whether regarded as originals themselves or remixes.

adam  on January 27, 2012 at 7:28 AM

really dig definition one

mike  on February 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM

totally disagree. i really love the definitions and this is the first of a lot of comments i heard on them that goes in the negative direction. maybe listening to them in a club situation would help.

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