For those readers & listeners who live in caves or were otherwise disposed this last year, 'Twists & Turns' by Ariadne's Labyrinth was simply one of the best releases that Touched have ever had the pleasure of being involved with and putting out there. If ever an album was deserving of praise then that was it.
And now we can pleasure ourselves (and yourselves) once again as a bevy of talented artists pounce on the opportunity to remix and rework the fantastic pieces contained therein. Having had the honour of previewing it I'm more than confident to say it's better that most things that other online outlets have attempted to peddle to me.
For those familiar with the release, I am sure that you would agree with me that on audition it would be pretty hard to find faults and even harder to suggest improvements (as if it needed any). But now we can marvel in what others have made of the stems and it's a jolly trip into the styles of others that always manages to encapsulate what was great about Twists & Turns.
Helpfully, the order of tracks on 'Twisted Up And Turned Around' follows that of its parent release so it's really nice to just interweave the originals and see their progression through the ears of the featured contributors. And that's what I'm going to do here as they really do deserve to be covered.
The opener 'Sound City', thoughtfully treated by Keiss & bringing his experience of two separate Touched Music releases to the plate, concentrates on the airy quality of the track with beautiful chord progressions. Veteran Boxcutter applies his own signature sound and lets us wobble and bounce our way through things - there's definite attitude here.
Azrak industrialises 'End Aria' making it full & pumping with a helping of Amen Break thrown in for good measure & Macheen Boi gives us his own self-titled 'bastardisation' but in my eyes it's more of a legitimisation by royal decree - welcome to the family.
The distinctive Shepard-like ever-rising tones of 'Griffo's Dream' are treated with respect by both Klaus Wankderlick & Randomoidz and also ADJ - the former producing something reminiscent of Hybrid's more epic pieces and the latter slows the pace down with a more electro interpretation.
When I first heard 'Tiny Car' I was immediately thrown back to Rephlex days and the always- pleasurable playings of the Braindance compilation. I didn't realise it could get any more authentic but somehow Karsten Pflum manages to do it with a real analogue vibe peppered with vibrato and squelch. Iceland's Murya returns to Touched with his interpretation with one big in-your-face soundscape. You can pretty much taste the Northern Lights in your mouth.
One of my personal favourites from the original, 'Patternicity' always got me with its rolling pace,
dramatically executed without being pretentious. It warms my heart that none of the original charm has been lost, with Emma Catnip's remix going straight on repeat, making my shoulders move involuntarily like some kind of music attack. Monoform & Pat Hime also rework the track, the former giving a whole new spin to it with a more relaxed rhythm structure that allows the melody to take centre stage, and the latter using the source material in some truly interesting ways to produce a completely new reconstruction. There's even an alternate remix by Ariadne's Labyrinth which is a nice touch and just demonstrates the infinite possibilities there are when producing this kind of music.
From the sound of it 'Omnisomething' must have provided some great stems, with a bold melody and forceful movement through the piece. Recue builds these up to an epic finale in his track, just wait for it. Please dance interpretively to this one and send me the videos. I bet you look like a Chris Cunningham piece. Andrew Course steps in after and manages to make everything loose & sleazy, you can click your fingers to this one and it's rather seductive with an Ochre-like quality.
I hadn't heard of Bovaflux before this but I'm glad I have now as his remix of 'Looking For Raindrops' has great arpeggios accenting the original track making for a really fun ride. The ending is positively robotic too. If your arm hairs don't stand up for this one then there's something wrong with you. Juan Nutkins (yes, I had to double-take too) follows and makes it all techno - it's a pumping end to a set, a late-night remedy for all the lagging ravers. This would definitely make them cancel their Ubers.
Exm rears his head again and makes things chaotic as per usual, reworking 'Jim's Secret Portal' with an always-welcome eye-opening display of uniqueness from Holland. Milleu almost makes it sound as if Global Goon are in the house by completely restructuring things and making things very relaxed.
Fizzarum breaks up the relentless pounding of 'Big Up Fussy' by keeping the pounding but very much deconstructing the beats and melodies with a skilful use of gates and other effects. It's very different and one that's sure to grow on you.
I love Generate and always look forward to what he's going to do next - and 'Braindrops' is no different. I'm absolutely loving the rhythms both subtle & not so subtle, it's wonderfully mixed. Another big name comes in the form of D'Arcangelo, with a big piece. It takes all the big bits and makes them even bigger. But the treatment doesn't stop there - in what is one of my personal highlights of the album, Blackpool's brightest light Chevron ups the rave-factor to about a million. Oh Chevvers, I'd berate you but I'd only feel bad about it. Being a long-time fan since the days of Wrong Music I happily welcome this aptly-name hyped up remix into my living room.
Better known as The Teknoist, Fyrehammer knocks 'Nola's Salon' off the shelf and glues it back together with breaks and beats all over the place. It's another fun-filled pumpfest. And back once again, Plaid's Ed & Andy deliver once more in what is actually quite an interesting track, darker than what you'd expect and a real departure but of course stunning and more than welcome.
The original Outro track gave us a secret track, but there's no secrets here in what's given to us by Randomoidz with his second contribution to the album - it's playful, long & heavy. Finally, Carbinax ends the evening's proceedings by really playing on the strengths of the violin giving a real sense of closure.
Available on both physical release and as a digital download, proceeds will once again be forwarded to Macmillan Cancer Support. You'd be silly to miss out on this one.
Words By Alexander Shum