Artwork by Do-Ho Suh
Adam X’s side project continues to attract some of the biggest names in techno as remixers, but what’s just as important is the fact that the original material reaches a wider audience. Both of Mitchell’s compositions on this package are, for this writer, further proof that the TW releases have done more than most anonymous projects to forge a new path through the creative stagnation that bedevils electronic music.
In a rare instance of the title actually describing the track’s feeling, “Exiting the Milky Way” sounds almost exactly like it should, a rupturing of metal on metal, the purring bass mimicking the engine of a powerful space rocket in shutdown mode and most crucially, the feeling of fear and the sense of being alone, cut loose in the darkness that outer space explorers experience. “Transducer” represents the opposite feeling, as a rattling titanium rhythm encases the track’s core component, a pile-driving, pulsing bass, which transports the listener through the cosmos at light speed.
Can the remixes provide similar experiences? Surgeon’s take on “Exiting” mines the middle ground between its sensibilities and those of “Transducer”; the UK producer forsakes splintered, broken beats in favor of a bleepy, understated yet menacing techno groove. Despite its DJ effectiveness, there is a detached feeling at the heart of this remake and this approach speaks volumes for the remix. Unfortunately, this writer can’t say the same about Brian Sanhaji’s take on “Transducer”; the buzz-saw bass and effective but ultimately soulless breakdown strip away the original’s subtle metallic rhythms. While the forceful bass remains intact, this is another compelling argument for the maxim that if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it — especially if “it” is millions of light years away.