Thursday, February 17, 2011

Track Review: Glasser - "Mirrorage (Lindstrøm Remix)"



After Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s long-form komische experiments on Where You Go I Go Too (2008), it’s been pretty interesting to watch the Norwegian space-disco auteur develop a taste for more compact, diva-led avant-pop. Just about a year ago he dropped a wonderful but curiously slept-on collaborative record with chanteuse and fellow Norwegian Christabelle, which filtered muscular Timbaland workouts through a gaudy lens of electro-pop sensibility, finding the sweet spot between turn of the millennium Hot 97 jams and trendy euro-house staples.

Looking to extend this streamlined electro-pop streak, Lindstrøm has tried his hand at remixing one of the highlights from Ring, Cameron Mesirow’s 2010 full-length debut as Glasser (which just snuck onto CMG’s Top 50 Albums of the year). Listening to the results, it’s obvious how reverently Lindstrøm decided to approach the source material, choosing to accentuate the track’s haunted-house gait as opposed to retrofitting the material for the dance floor. What he’s found in the process is a potentially fresh stylistic direction for his own work (though, I should note, an actual collaboration between these two would not be unwelcome).

The original “Mirrorage” was already Ring‘s shadow-shrouded heart, the track’s apocalyptic beatscape thrown into hypnotic riptide with Mesirow’s stutter-step vocal edits providing a dizzying counterpoint. At only three-and-a-half minutes, the original felt determined but constrained; Lindstrøm has no problem exploiting the track’s momentum by generously elongating the track’s midsection. It’s operatic in a way that I feel many had hoped that Knife opera would have been, Lindstrøm contorting some of the track’s original elements into new shapes—backward vocals, looped bass undercurrents—while splaying its insides across the track’s new widescreen expanse. To the credit of Glasser, Lindstrøm retains nearly all of the song’s most tangible characteristics. If anything, this remix speaks more to the compositional prowess of Mesirow than to Lindstrøm’s skills as an interpreter. Still, this stokes anticipation for whatever Lindstrøm might have planned for 2011, while graciously extending Glasser’s underlooked 2010 in the process. [CMG]

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