Pawel, The Remixes


Photo by Jonas Bendiksen

[Dial]


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A year or so after the release of Pawel’s self-titled debut LP, Dial are attempting to revive a few of its sleepy, mild-mannered tracks with a remix EP. The three contributors on The Remixes all manage to glean something from the originals, amping up core elements for club environments or adding some personal inflections. Not all of their efforts, however, are truly transformative.

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Patrice Scott’s remix of “Crillon” is predictably drifting, giving Pawel’s overly tight elements a lot of room to breathe. Scott inserts a hulking, fathoms-deep bass line and swelling pads, sprinkling dubbed-out bits of the original in between. It’s a marked, if not totally resonant improvement, sounding a bit safe next to Scott’s solo catalog. With woodwind stabs and palpitating chimes, the LP’s lighthearted opening track “Panamerican” is a suitable choice for Osunlade, well-known for his interest in traditional African instrumentation and motifs. He leaves the aforementioned elements intact, brightening things with a swifter pace and cleaner sounds. The producer pushes the track farther into his own realm with the addition of talking drums and chanting, but like Scott’s effort, it’s ultimately a staid entry into his catalog.

John Roberts closes the EP with a remix of “Kramnik.” Unlike the preceding tracks, Roberts’ remix is not concerned with the dance floor, replacing the original’s surefooted 4/4 with emanations from an obscured, misfiring drum machine. Sub-bass plumes and a resigned, wistful piano melody are interwoven as the delicate synth pattern from the original loops on top, everything quivering fuzzily. It’s an elegant arrangement as is, but things become truly beautiful when a sweeping cello accompaniment is introduced after a pause. Roberts does a fantastic job of running with Pawel’s work, and his unconventional approach keeps the EP memorable.

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