PTI have something on the order of seventeen songs under their belt -- and they're all pretty good -- so why do they need a remix album, a move reserved for aging industrial bands and artists who can't quite squeeze out album number seven in a seven-album deal? After a few listens to the exquisite Exhaust
, the answer is simple: who cares?
Drawing mostly from 2004's Blackout, the team of scientists responsible for Exhaust definitely reworks the band's material, but remains true to the progressive industrial/EBM aesthetic that made the album such a solid piece of work. MindFluxFuneral tackles "Condemnation" ("MindFluxFuneral Abomination" mix), applying a bit more grit and hyperactivity than the original via diced breakdowns of bit-reduced vocals, shattered drums and filtered textures (they also seem slightly influenced by Peaches -- or perhaps they simply found the "Fuck the Pain" away pattern on their MC-505). Torrent Vaccine approaches the same work in a much more somber manner, arpeggiating his synth-tar and stewing up a mass of dark cloud bass atmospheres.
Like most everyone in the genre, PTI's music bears more than a passing resemblance to the iconic Skinny Puppy sound -- an attribute that Christ Analogue recognized, then flipped, on "Identify (Christ Analogue Putrefaction)". The results -- isolated foreground-in-the-mix vocals and dry, minimal drum programming -- actually sound much closer to Ogre's solo work. Clever.
Labels commission remix albums for a variety of reasons. For example, if your band's inspiration has run thin but your label still believes in you (read: you once made them money, and you might do so in the future), they will hire a bunch of people to redo your back catalog, modernizing your material in order to sell it a second time. However, PTI's music doesn't need an aural face-lift, so perhaps it's the remix artists who are riding the coattails this time around. Whatever the reason for its existence, we all need to get our minds out of the boardroom; we've been treated to another slice of fried gold from a terrific band, and that's all that matters.