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splendid > reviews > 11/8/2005
Various Artists
Various Artists
Sutekh: Born Again: Collected Remixes
Leaf


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Hanne Hukkelberg's " Ease (in C Mix)""

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Born Again is something of a narcissistic labor of love for producer/DJ Sutekh. Now that he's made a name for himself (along the West Coast, at least) as a talented DJ, Sutekh has seen fit to collect an entire album of his remix work. It was probably extremely gratifying for Sutekh to hear his handiwork in such a wide variety of contexts, but it won't do much for casual listeners unfamiliar with his (or the featured artists') work. Fortunately, many of the artists involved seem to have created pretty interesting material, and Sutekh's remixes are easy to appreciate, even if you know nothing of the originals.

O. Lamm's "Bed of the Cylinder in Three Concentric Zones", for instance, layers abrupt staccato rhythms beneath three recurring piano notes, creating a satisfying contrast of smooth and choppy flow. The percussion's industrial factory feel is reminiscent of some of Tom Waits's scarier Rain Dogs-era songs, but the tones are very effective in the otherwise synthesized environment.

There are a couple of missteps along the way: the electronic experimentation becomes so free-form that it almost unravels. Sutekh's remix of Chessie's "Daylight" has moments of Farfisa flavored brilliance, but the static-heavy tones surrounding the organ are too loose and can't hold the piece together.

The compilation's highlight features Norwegian artist Hanne Hukkelberg, who sounds surprisingly soulful as she harmonizes with a digitized treatment of her own voice. As with the rest of the compilation, it's difficult to say how far Sutkeh went in his revision of the original material, but he certainly doesn't seem to have done it any harm.



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