CD, Zoharum, 2008
“Amalgame” is the latest album from Radoslaw “Thorn” Murawski and Maciej “Dragos” Mehring – otherwise known as Polish band Bisclaveret – comprising of nine remixes of four tracks. Calling on the talents of various artists from the dark ambient, industrial and related genres, such as Moan, Sleeping Pictures, Horologium, Ghosts of Breslau and God’s Bow, they compile a varied set of reinterpretations of the original atmospheric tracks.
Taking on “Insane in God” in very different ways are Moan, Endraum and God’s Bow. The creaky mechanical rumblings of Moan’s take on “Insane in God” contrast completely with the brighter, horror movie soundtrack traits of Endraum’s rhythmic version, while the God’s Bow remix is lighter still, much more ethereal and full of smooth, tumbling breaks. Transforming “Ritual of All-Embracing Madness” are Sleeping Pictures, Hoarfrost and Horologium. The Sleeping Pictures version is a heaving, layered collage of disorientating sounds, drifting drones and ghostly voices. Hoarfrost’s interpretation is similar but slower, more spacious and minimal, focusing more on the disturbing processed voices and adding just the right amount of droning texture to emphasise the dark, unnerving mood of the original. Sitting somewhere between the two is the Horologium remix, which initially focuses on a moody dark backdrop whilst retaining the vocal musings before introducing a crisp, steady break which unfortunately doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. There are two remixes of “Duch Mój”; the first, by Ghosts of Breslau, is atmospheric with droning tones, orchestral strings, and cinematic beat bursts, along with the ever-present deranged vocals. The second is by Synta[XE]rror, who takes a very different path than most of the other contributors on the album. Synta[XE]rror’s version is very much on the experimental electronic/IDM side of things, completely restructuring the track whilst retaining just a touch of dark atmosphere and the sinister vocal from the original. The remaining track on the album is a remix of “All Things Lost” by Loverdozed. This rework follows in the experimental footsteps of Synta[XE]rror by reconstructing the original into an electro-IDM hybrid, skillfully changing the mood of the track into a fascinating trip into futuristic oddness.
As a bonus, the CD also includes the video for “Insane in God.” Focusing largely on a mysterious dark figure in the woods and a bloodied victim in a white bath, it is accompanied by Mehring’s deranged musings, the tense anxiety heightened by the orchestral backing and moody cinematic piano. The atmosphere is reminiscent of “The Blair Witch Project,” where dark and evil acts are implied; the imagination is great at filling in the blanks.
— Paul Lloyd