Mechanical unrest in a late night club.
One of my favourite new discoveries in 2021 was Stubborn Heart and their second album “Made of Static”. It felt grounded in reality whilst adding flairs of high art and solid grooves to ponder to. I usually shy away from remix albums but Stubborn Heart are releasing a collection of smaller EPs, which I assume will be themed around a type of sound or feeling. “Out of Out Hands I” is not a mainstream dance remix, instead it often takes the music towards a mechanical grind and unnerving dread.
“Talking Gold (Plaid Remix)” is the most tuneful and radical remix of the three. The vocals are chewed up and slowed down (it feels) and instead of minimal synths leading the way, it’s detuned marimba-like instrument. These percussive bells are slightly off-key and create an out of kilter feel which is only hyped up when proud brass arrangements seep in. It’s a wildly odd track but my favourite of the three. “Proves To Be (FUMU Remix)” focuses on a grizzly industrial bass line. It slothly repeats and drags itself along with beaten up drums and mellow vocals as if the song is shutting down for the night. I can see darkwave fans loving the remix as it’s got dirt running through its synth veins. The final track “Everything Matters (Tolouse Low Trax Dub)” also feels like an industrial grind but with clearer instrumentation. I can hear lots of hints of instrumentation going on throughout the song but it never comes to the fore. Instead, the track floats around with half riffs of bass, alien synths and vocal snippets. It teases and never shows and so I didn’t gel with this track quite like the other two.
I’m interested to see where Stubborn Heart points their remix collaborators to next. The feeling of these remixes are one of disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the daily grind. I don’t think they rival or improve on the stunning originals but in at least two cases, these are remixes I’d come back to. For fans only.
Recommended track: “Talking Gold (Plaid Remix)”
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