CD, Hive Records, 2008
Remixes are a popular phenomenon of various electronic music genres, an fascinating way to reinterpret a piece of music, transforming style and feeling, reorganising structures and emphasising aspects which may previously have been overlooked. To musicians, making remixes can be an enjoyable challenge, which in turn can lead to valuable new ideas for one’s own work, while receiving them is an important part of forging good relationships with contemporaries. But I can’t help thinking of remix albums as one up from greatest hits collections, albeit hopefully with more imagination involved, and for an artist to bring one out after only two albums seems a little unnecessary.
Fortunately, Autoclav1.1 has quickly risen to prominence as one of the UK’s more interesting exponents of dark electronica, and as such Tony Young is justifiably a popular figure in the scene, thanks also to his efforts in promotion and journalism. Over two albums, “You Are My All And More” and “Visitor Attractions”, Autoclav1.1 injects powerful emotions and rich atmospheres into a complex array of fractured rhythms and insistent sequences. “Broken Beats For Broken Hearts” features some leading names from dark IDM and industrial electronica, although the fact that all but one tracks come from “Visitor Attractions”, an album already containing four remixes, seems something of a shame.
French Electropop soundscape master Oil 10 provides a great opening with his futuristic and cinematic version of “Fault”, followed by dour Yorkshire deviant ESA’s storming rendition of “All Unwired And Behind You”, taking his time to build the oppressive atmosphere before letting loose a barrage of crunchy industrial beats. DJ Hidden’s remix of “Small Days” displays a skilful use of considered breakbeats, but then C-Drone-Defect spoil proceedings with their two-songs-for-the-price-of-one effort starting off faithful to the original and then suddenly becoming an ugly piece of spooky EBM going on far too long. Wast3 (“waste”?) don’t improve things with frantic, messy techno, and Cervello Elettronico’s otherwise quite groovy electro piece is let down by two conflicting rhythms tripping each other up. Luckily then, the pairing of Keef Baker and Iszoloscope for the next two tracks brings more quality, the former a mature and subtle version of “Small Days” complimenting the earlier remix well, the latter opening with profound dark ambient leading to ominously crawling dub beats.
For the remainder of the album commendable efforts from some newer names manage to retain the strengths of the original tunes while showing their own personalities and abilities admirably. The track listing on the album has each track described as “broken” rather than “remixed”, a nice touch, but it’s lucky of course that most of the artists here managed to repair the damage they inflicted on Autoclav1.1 and return with something worthwhile in its own right.
— Nathan Clemence