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ESA – The Immaculate Manipulation

ESA - The Immaculate Manipulation

CD+download, Tymanik Audio, 2009

Reviewing remix collections is always a difficult process, specially when the review is aimed towards readers familiar with the original material and its sound. The fact that remix albums as material range from bland and derivative to decent homage to the original, brings about a certain skepticism against the use of such releases.
Pressing play, the listener is greeted by a previously unreleased ESA track, “I am the Filth”, in what appears to be a solid if not standard bit of industrial, yet leaving the listener curious, as the first remix track explodes. A psytrance rendition of “The Devil Worships Me”, courtesy of Psilopsyb, may bring a grin or a frown, depending on the open-mindedness of the listener, but it’s certain to provoke a reaction. A reaction of surprise, as the listener will come to listen to every electronic sub-genre under the sun (or black light), in a disc that may start as showcasing the work of ESA and perhaps the remixing prowess of the artists involved, but ultimately shines as a testament to how far electronic music has progressed, and what an immense variety of unique sounds and styles it has to offer to any listener. There really is no point in doing a track by track analysis, since there really is everything within the album. From old-school techno sounds to guitar tinged industrial, from relentless powernoise and EBM to exquisitely melodic IDM, and even a bloody post rock track, to seal the deal, as it were.
The astonishing bit is that this actually works. Beyond the tracks themselves being top-notch works and excellent specimens of their specific genres, there is an almost inexplicable coherence to an album of such variety, possibly due to its full length and excellent ordering of the tracklisting, or perhaps the underlying feel of the original material displaying its brand of darkness, even through the remarkable genre altering work of the remixing artists. A truly magnificent collage of sounds and styles, shifting indeed immaculately through any electronic subgenre worth nodding to, this record is a must have.
The added bonus remixes that are included digitally only sweeten the deal to the point of feeling obliged to Tympanik, ESA and all the remixing artists for this true gift of a record to the listeners, expanding the array of sounds even more with the ritualistic electronics of Ah-Cama Sotz or the keyboard work of Autoclav1.1, among other artists and naturally genres.


— George Mouratidis

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