Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The recent Covid lockdown was like a colander for stay-at homes where musicians of all persuasions poured their stuff into it . . . but the thinnest went straight out the bottom and onto YouTube, TikTok or what have you: kids singing in bathrooms, acoustic sessions with plaintive musicians yearning through someone else's songs . . .
Of course there was some good and unexpected talent came through, but largely it fell to those with a track record (and often a decent home studio) to be the tasty bits left in the sieve.
It was certainly a time when many finished off the album they'd been working on (what else was there to do?) and as the on-going lockdown has been happening for many, the singles and albums have flowed out.
But the key ingredient – that much underrated virtue, talent – was what shone through.
Expat Kiwi Mike Hodgson of Pitch Black living in East London lockdown tells Elsewhere that this year they had planned a roll-out of a number of releases, this remix album of their 2019 album Third Light among them.
So this one was already on the starting blocks with remixes by a coterie of friends and fellow travellers, among them International Observer (UK), Dubsalon (Argentina), Adrian Sherwood (UK), Zuke (from Wellington), Bodie (Portland), Ackept (Christchurch) and others.
The 10-track album opens and closes with remixes of Daylight Wasting, the first by International Observer driven with a deep thump behind the dreamy landscape, the final version an edgy, techno-blip treatment of light-industrial menace and increasing breadth by qpn (Berlin).
Between times Mexico's Tor.Ma turns One Ton Skank into a couple of tons of heavyweight, quickstep dubbery; Sherwood pulls the vocal sample on A Doubtful Sound upfront with a heavy echoes (“the rhythm is gonna getcha-getcha-getcha”) to create menace and brings in a classic, woozy Jamaican horn sounds from the Sixties to make it even more disconcerting and oppressive ; and the Dubsalon remix of The Lake Within really taps into a disturbing Scandi-noir atmosphere.
And so it goes.
This is kind of music which remained in that colander to be taken out and appreciated as others washed through.
There are reviews and interviews with Pitch Black (Mike Hodgson, Paddy Free) at Elsewhere starting here.